CBO Report on $15 Minimum Wage Impact and Possible Tweaks to Pending Legislation

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the possible effects associated with raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. According to the report, an increase would potentially eliminate 1.3 million jobs nationwide, and reduce business income and raise prices as business owners absorb higher labor costs that are then passed on to consumers. The increase would mean a rise in wages for about 17 million workers currently below $15 an hour and potentially move 1.3 million people out of poverty.

The Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582) is expected to get a vote in the House before the August congressional recess. In a bid to generate support from the more moderate wing of the Democratic caucus, there have been talks to phase the increase to $15 an hour over six years, as opposed to five years as the bill is currently written.

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