NRF Responds to Obama’s Proposed Minimum Wage Hike

Jan 29, 2014 1:08 PM  By

The National Retail Federation issued a statement in response to  President Barack Obama’s plan to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts. Obama is also asking Congress to approve the same increase for all workers.

Obama’s announcement came during  the State of the Union Address on Jan. 28.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said this in a press release, “If you want to create minimum wage opportunities, then raise the minimum wage.”

The NRF “Welcomes the president’s focus on the economy and jobs,  but a minimum wage hike runs counter to that goal,” Shay said in the press release.

Shay said in the press release,  raising the minimum wage would place a “New burden on employers at a time when national policy should be focused on removing barriers to job creation, not creating new regulations and mandates.”

“It’s simple math – if the cost of hiring goes up, hiring goes down,” said Shay in the press release.

Shay said in the press release, “Fewer than 5% of hourly people are paid the minimum wage.  It’s really a starting wage that allows teenagers or others with little job experience to enter into the workforce.  A mandated hike in labor costs would negatively impact businesses that employ people in entry-level jobs and ultimately hurt the people it is intended to help.”

Shay added, “This isn’t economic theory  – when the minimum wage went up in 2009, half a million part-time workers lost their jobs,  that’s a risk our economy can’t afford to take.”

  • RobertPhoenix

    You can’t argue both ways. If fewer than 5% of hourly people are on minimum wage, then a relatively small raise will have an even smaller effect on hiring. Also it will correspondingly have an extremely small effect on retail prices. It will however make a great deal of difference to those minimum wage workers who will see a 10% or more rise in their income, and a great help in their struggle to make ends meet.

    So which is it ? Something that affects very few workers or something that will have a large effect on hiring ?

    As far as the competitive scene is concerned, as long as my competition has to make the same small changes I don’t think there will be any effect on my business.

    To compare anything in isolation to 2009 is to ignore the massive global collapse of just about everything !