Minimum wage change causes no unemployment spikes

Published: Monday, November 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 31, 2004 at 10:57 p.m.
Florida has two million people living in poverty, up 22 percent during the last decade of unprecedented "job creation" and economic development. Amendment 5, proposed to increase the state minimum wage to $6.15 per hour, would help.
The Sun has advised voting against amendment 5. Its recommendation relies on incorrect information provided by the Coalition to Save Florida Jobs (CSFJ), a business group concerned with maximizing its bottom line.
Essentially, a meltdown of the economy was portrayed: loss of tens of thousands of jobs, closing of small "mom and pop" shops, and jobs shipped overseas with those in poverty actually being hurt by the amendment.
Decades of data on the national minimum wage show that none of these ill effects occur when the minimum wage has been increased. Twelve other states have enacted minimum wages above the federal level with no spikes in unemployment or any of the other adverse effects predicted by CSFJ.
A study by Dr. Robert Pollin and other economists at the University of Massachusetts shows an insignificant impact on prices.
Such small increases can be offset easily by increased productivity of better-paid, better-motivated workers.
Vote "yes" on Amendment 5 to help narrow the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Dwight Adams, Gainesville

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