Minimum wage hike would cost jobs

January 24, 2013

In his recent Sun op-ed in favor of a higher minimum wage, Baltimore Rev. David Carl Olson cites an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute to claim that a wage hike will create jobs ("Maryland Must Raise its Minimum Wage," January 22).

While I don't doubt the reverend's good intentions, readers shouldn't take the quality of his evidence on faith. The institute he cites has cooked up a "model" that only shows job creation from a minimum wage increase. Even a $50 minimum wage would register as job-boosting stimulus, despite the fact that it would force hundreds of Maryland businesses to close their doors.

Instead of relying on a research outfit that's received millions of dollars from organized labor, the reverend might turn his attention to the respected (and neutral) pages of the country's economics journals. Eighty-five percent of the most credible research from the last two decades has detected job loss (rather than job creation) following a minimum wage increase.

That's one fact that Maryland policymakers don't have to take on faith.

Michael Saltsman, Washington

The writer is research director of the Employment Policies Institute.

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