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Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 could cost more than a million workers their jobs, according to a report released Monday by the Congressional Budget Office.
The House of Representatives will soon vote on the Raise the Wage Act, but the CBO report’s findings will likely further split Republicans and Democrats on the issue—because a $15 minimum wage could also lift more than a million people out of poverty.
The report found that raising minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 could cost 1.3 million jobs, and lift $1.3 million people above the poverty line.
“For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty,” the CBO report read. “But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall—in some cases, below the poverty level.”
As a result of that conclusion, each party was able to take its findings and use them to further their stance on the issue.
“Today’s Congressional Budget Office report reaffirms that a $15 minimum wage would kill American jobs and harm Americans struggling to make ends meet,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “Today, Americans enjoy a booming economy, historically low unemployment, and notable wage growth. We must not jeopardize those gains through greater government control.”
“The Congressional Budget Office’s report comes to a clear conclusion: The benefits of the Raise the Wage Act for America’s workers far outweigh any potential costs,” said House Education and Labor Committee chairman Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House Majority Leader, said the Raise the Wage Act will see a vote next week.
“Americans who work had deserve to afford a middle-class life and deserve opportunities to get ahead and help their children get ahead,” Hoyer said.