The National Restaurant Association today released the following statement in response to a Congressional Budget Office report, which found raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could reduce employment by an estimated 500,000 workers in 2016.
“The CBO report is further evidence that an increase in the minimum wage such as the one proposed in the Harkin/Miller bill would significantly limit the entry-level opportunities businesses can provide, hurting employees with limited skills or experience and looking to enter the workforce—the very workers who need these opportunities most,” said Scott DeFife, EVP, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association.
“A minimum wage increase is not a real, comprehensive solution to poverty and the problems of income inequality in this country. There is no clearer example of that than in the restaurant industry, where the vast majority of people who make the minimum wage are working part-time, and are teens or young adults who are likely to be supplementing a family income.
“Other necessary reforms—such as increased access to education and job training opportunities—are far more proven, effective and targeted ways to help people in poverty and will have a more meaningful impact on an individual’s earning potential.
“The restaurant industry provides real pathways to the middle class and beyond, and dramatic increases in the minimum wage will only hinder our ability to provide stepping stones for those who need it most.”
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 17-20, 2014, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.