Survey of District Employers Shows Majority of Businesses Have Had to Reduce Working Hours of Employees and Will Reduce Future Hiring if Labor Costs Continue to Increase
(Washington, D.C.) The DC Chamber of Commerce’s preliminary results from a survey of District employers indicate that if the minimum wage were to increase to $15.00 per hour, a majority of businesses will not employ more workers. Additionally, more than half of employers indicated that they will need to reduce the working hours of employees if the District’s minimum wage were to increase to $15.00 per hour. The current minimum wage in the District is $10.50 as mandated by legislation passed in 2013 and signed into law in 2014.
The DC Chamber of Commerce, the voice for local businesses, recently assessed sentiments of the business community by surveying business leaders representing establishments large and small, and from a variety of industries, regarding the impact of raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.
In 2013, the Council of the District of Columbia acted to raise the local minimum wage from its previous rate at $1.00 above the federal minimum wage to its current trajectory of $11.50 per hour in 2016. The proposal to increase local wages to $15.00 per hour is nearly doubling business costs since 2013. For District businesses, that is a significant increase in labor costs, and undoubtedly, the negative impact it will have on available jobs and how companies would need to absorb costs is a realistic outcome that is demonstrated in the survey. “This could make the difference in their operations and essentially in keeping the lights on,” said Harry Wingo, President & CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce.
The DC Chamber of Commerce works every day to make the District of Columbia one of the best jurisdictions to work and do business. Thus it was essential to gauge how the proposal to increase DC employer’s labor costs on average another 20-30 percent would impact employment opportunities, the competitive economy, and business livelihood. “Increasing the cost of doing business in the District is the biggest threat to local companies, right on par with the recession, and will result in the lost of jobs,” said Wingo.
About the DC Chamber of Commerce
Since 1938, the DC Chamber has advocated for business friendly policies, and we remain focused on economic growth in the District. The DC Chamber of Commerce continues to be the voice of business for enterprises large and small. Every day, the Chamber works hard to make our city a great place to live, work, play, learn and grow a business. For more information about the DC Chamber of Commerce go to https://www.dcchamber.org/