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Citizens For A Strong New Hampshire testifies against HB 1403 to increase minimum wage

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(February 11, 2014) - Today, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire spoke in opposition to HB 1403, which would increase New Hampshire's minimum wage to $9 per hour. After 2015, the minimum wage would increase yearly based on the consumer price index.Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire's Executive Director, Matthew Murphy, testified in opposition to the bill before the New Hampshire House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Service Committee. Text of his testimony can be viewed below:

 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee,  

 

Thank you for allowing me to testify today. For the record, my name is Matthew Murphy and I am the Executive Director of Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to seeing our state's economy prosper and create jobs. For that reason, we are asking that you find this bill inexpedient to legislate. 

 

Raising the minimum wage would not only have a detrimental effect on small businesses and job creators in our state, but it would also have a negative effect on the young people who are just starting out in the workforce by prohibiting them from gaining jobs and valuable skills from New Hampshire's service industry and small businesses.  

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of those earning minimum wage are employed in the leisure and hospitality industry. About one-half of all workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage are employed in this industry, primarily in restaurants and other food services. For many of these workers, tips and commissions supplement the hourly wages received. A significant number of these employees are under the age of 26 and are attending school while trying to hold a job. By increasing the minimum wage, we are reducing the number of available jobs for these young people to earn money for books, tuition, and other necessities required for them to complete their education.  

 

Evidence of this job reduction has been noted in several economic studies and case studies of other states that have increase the minimum wage. A study by Jonathan Meer and Jeremy West, economists at Texas A&M University, found that "the most prominent employment effect of minimum wage laws is a decline in the hiring of new employees."  When New York State increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 per hour, in 2004-06, there was a "20.2 to 21.8 percent reduction in the employment of younger less-educated individuals," with the greatest impact on 16-to-24 year olds. 

 

The biggest drawback with this legislation is that it ignores the basic principles of the Law of Demand.The legislation before this body will only increase labor costs for New Hampshire business owners and create a tougher job climate for the young people within our state.

 

Thank you,  

 

Matthew Murphy

Executive Director

Citizens for a Strong NH 

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