Opponents of minimum wage laws tend to focus their criticism on one particular adverse consequence: by artificially raising the price of labor, they reduce employment, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.
“Minimum wage laws tragically generate unemployment, especially so among the poorest and least skilled or educated workers,” economist Murray Rothbard wrote in 1978. “Because a minimum wage, of course, does not guarantee any worker’s employment; it only prohibits, by force of law, anyone from being hired at the wage which would pay his employer to hire him.
Though some economists, such as Paul Krugman, reject Rothbard’s claim, a recent study found the overwhelming body of academic research supports the idea that minimum wage laws increase unemployment.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce characterized the worker shortage as a crisis that is hurting businesses of all sizes and slowing the nation’s economic recovery.
The biggest challenge U.S. businesses currently face is the lack of qualified workers to fill open jobs, according to the Chamber of Commerce’s America Works Report released Tuesday morning. The national Worker Availability Ratio (WAR) — or ratio of number of available workers to number of available jobs — has dropped over the last several months, the report found.
The current WAR is 1.4, meaning for every job opening there are one or two workers available, according to the America Works Report. The historical WAR average over the last 20 years is 2.8.
There were only two insightful reports on the economy this past week—for jobs and housing. Both show impressive gains.
Weekly initial unemployment claims fell by 56,000, to 787,000. They are down more than 100,000 from a month ago. There has also been a substantial decline in the insured unemployment rate to 5.7 percent from 8.7 percent a month ago. Also, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance payments fell to 8.4 million; it was 12.6 million a month ago.
Small business relief, supporting 5.2 million small businesses and 50 million jobs, ran out on Aug. 8 and airlines ran out of money last month as massive layoffs have been ensuing.
In the meantime, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to refuse a deal from President Donald Trump to extend these CARES Act programs — even if it means she loses a few seats in the House over it.
CVS Health announced that it would bring on approximately 15,000 additional workers in preparation for the upcoming flu season and an expected rise in coronavirus cases before the distribution of an eventual vaccine.
The hirings will take place before the year’s end, the company said Monday in a statement. Though most of the positions are temporary, many could transition into full-time positions, CVS said.
The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, while unemployment fell to 7.9%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 661,000 in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 1 million to 12.6 million.