Increasing the Minimum Wage

  • Share:
WHAT IS IT?
During each of the last several General Assemblies, attempts have been made to increase the state minimum wage.  The 147th General Assembly raised it from the federal rate of $7.25 per hour to $.8.25 per hour over two years, in four increments of 50 cents.  During the most recent General Assembly (148th), there was an attempt to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, Senate Bill 39.    In addition to the substantial increase in the minimum wage, which would have occurred in increments over another two-year period, the legislation contained a provision indexing future increase to the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment.  Another amendment offered by the sponsor struck the COLA, but would have incrementally raised the minimum wage between 2017 and 2023 to $15.05 per hour.   The legislation was ultimately amended to the point where it would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over 2 years, without indexing.  The Chamber remained opposed and the measure failed to reach the governor’s desk.

WHO DOES IT HELP?

The Service Employees International Union and other labor organizations support the legislation, as do a number of so called “progressive” organizations.  They maintain that such an increase will aid in lifting a substantial group of the working poor out of poverty.  

WHO DOES IT HURT?
Sharp increases in the minimum wage in an economic environment such as the one in which our state and our nation are currently experiencing will cost jobs, lead to greater automation in low-skilled positions, fewer hours and greater overall labor expenses all along the wage scale.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR OUR MEMBERS?
Sharp increases in the minimum wage in an economic environment such as the one in which our state and our nation are currently experiencing will cost jobs, lead to greater automation in low-skilled positions, fewer hours and greater overall labor expenses all along the wage scale.

THE CHAMBER’S VIEW
Until economic conditions change dramatically, the Chamber will oppose any government mandated increase in labor costs.  The requirements of the Affordable Care Act, such as the 30-hour threshold, have already caused substantial disruption in labor markets.  With each new session, the Chamber is seeing new mandates for employees to follow, all of which impact employment costs.  The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce urges more consideration of the impact of government policy on job creation and on the competitiveness of Delaware relative to other states.  

Additionally, the Chamber has been consistent in our opposition to any measure which would index the minimum wage or any other government-mandated cost increase or tax.  An increase in the cost of living and/or creating jobs should be subject to a vote by elected officials who can assess economic conditions and other pertinent data at the time of their vote.  

 
Copyright 2016 New Castle County Chamber of Commerce