U.S. CAO says $15.00 Minimum Wage Could Cost

Hiking the U.S. minimum wage to $15 per hour would give millions of Americans a raise but put a smaller share of people out of work, according to projections released Monday.

Raising the pay floor to $15 per hour by 2025 would boost wages for 17 million workers, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated. At the same time, 1.3 million people would lose jobs, according to the CBO projections.

Earlier this year, House Democrats introduced a bill to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. The party has argued that doing so would lift workers out of poverty and kick-start economic growth.

Opponents of hiking the pay floor to that level — more than twice the current U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 that took effect in 2009 — argue it would cut positions for minimum wage workers amid higher costs.

The House could vote on the Democratic legislation, called the Raise the Wage Act, later this month. It is expected to pass, though the Republican-held Senate likely will not take it up. President Donald Trump could also oppose it.

Though the bill may not become law, Democrats view it as a way to portray themselves as better for the working class than Republicans as the 2020 elections approach. Every major Democratic candidate for president has endorsed a $15 per hour minimum wage. More than 200 House Democrats — including many who will face competitive re-election bids next year — have backed the bill.