There is no “solid evidence” that raising the minimum wage will make businesses less likely to hire low-wage workers, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
“We all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage,” Obama said at an event for the Center for American Progress. “Some say it actually hurts low-wage workers, business will be less likely to hire them. There’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs, and research shows it raises incomes for low-wage workers and boosts short-term economic growth.”
The President also dismissed the argument that raising the minimum wage would cause companies to pass those costs on to consumers. Many American companies, he said, still deliver great product while providing their workers a decent wage.
“There are companies out there that do right by their workers,” he said. “They recognize that paying a decent wage actually helps their bottom line, reduces turnover. It means workers have more money to spend, to save, maybe eventually start a business of their own.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.