Employers support raising the minimum wage, survey finds

A new study released by CareerBuilder shows the majority of employers believe the minimum wage should be increased. This is in line with a growing popular movement calling for minimum pay raises. 

Mark Lennihan/AP/File
Vice President Joe Biden, center, speaks at a labor rally, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, second from right, is proposing to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage like to say it would be a financial hit for business owners, something that would discourage them from hiring more workers. But according to a new study, the majority of employers actually support a minimum wage hike.

CareerBuilder published a new study Friday on employers' support for a minimum wage increase. Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, conducted a poll of over 5,000 hiring and human resource managers and employees. The results show that 64 percent of employers polled believe the minimum wage should be increased.

“Americans’ wages have been stuck in a slow-growth pattern since the recession,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder in the report's release. “As big name brands take measures to increase pay for minimum wage workers… employers are going to start feeling more wage pressure when trying to attract and retain employees at all levels within the organization.”

The share of employers who support the raise has increased 2 percent since last year. The change might be linked to the 2015 start of a more concerted popular movement to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

In the CareerBuilder survey, 61 percent of respondents felt a fair minimum range would be $10 or more per hour. Only 11 percent felt $15 or more per hour was fair. The current federal minimum wage is at $7.25 per hour or $15,080 for a full-time worker.

The CareerBuilder survey also revealed “1 in 5 of all workers said they couldn’t make ends meet every month in the last year.”

The support for a minimum raise hike is not a new phenomena. A 2013 Gallup poll shows that 76 percent of Americans were in favor of increasing the minimum wage to $9 per hour. Sixty-nine percent were in favor of increasing it to $9 per hour with automatic increases tied to the inflation rate, to prevent the raise from slipping over time.

It is unclear how much popular support impacts minimum wage decisions. The minimum wage is a Congressional decision and has not been increased in over seven years. The last increase to $7.25 occurred in 2009, which was the last of a three-step increase that was decided in 2007. Before 2007, the minimum wage had sat at $5.15 for nearly a decade.

Minimum wage increases have occurred at more local levels. Some cities and states are forging ahead with large minimum wage increases. Washington DC ($10.50), San Francisco ($15.00 by 2018), Seattle ($15.00 by 2017), Chicago ($13.00 by 2019), and Los Angeles ($15.00 by 2020) have all increased minimum wages or established long term plans to raise them incrementally. States like New York are currently campaigning for higher minimum wages.  

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