Does Raising The Minimum Wage Hurt Local Jobs? - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Does Raising The Minimum Wage Hurt Local Jobs?

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SALISBURY, Md. - From gas to food prices, locals like Jim Kennedy are afraid of the rising costs of living expenses.

"The cost of everything is going up now," said Kennedy.

This year, leaders in Delaware and Maryland are hoping that increasing minimum wage will help offset those daily necessities. Delawareans will earn $8.25 an hour by next June and Marylanders $10.10 an hour by the year 2018.

"It's long overdue and I think it'll be just fine if we do that," said Robin Karns of Salisbury.

Will that hurt employers? A recent study suggests the opposite. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the 13 states that increased their minimum wage on January 1st hired more people than states that didn't.

"The theory has always been that if you give a sufficient amount of money to people to be able to go out and spend it, especially at the lower income levels then they will spend it and that money is going to turn at the local economy," said Dr. Memo Diriker, director of BEACON at Salisbury University.

Diriker says it especially helped states which gradually raised wages. He says Maryland could run into a problem by not taking inflation into account.

"If you're subtly going from seven dollars over time to 10 dollars, that's a big step increase," said Diriker. "This time in Maryland they decided not to index it so we'll get into this step increase somewhere in the future again."

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