WASHINGTON — President Biden’s push to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would cost more than 1.5 million jobs and drive up the cost of goods and services, the US Congressional Budget Office projected Monday.
The nonpartisan federal agency also found that the “Raise the Wage Act” would see the federal deficit balloon to a whopping $54 billion — almost double what is now — if enacted next month.
Many businesses will wind up closing for good, plain and simple. Others will stay open but only by laying off employees and raising prices. And keep in mind: Even workers who hang on to their jobs will have to pay those steeper prices, which will eat into much of their raise. Great plan.
Meanwhile, more pink slips would be catastrophic right now: Restaurants, hotels and some retailers have already trimmed headcounts by as much as 30 percent, thanks to the pandemic. The leisure and hospitality sector saw 3.8 million jobs vanish last year. Yet the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the $15 minimum would lead to another 1.3 million jobs lost.