Survey: Companies Don't Like $10 Hour Minimum Wage

Mar 15, 2014

Duke-CFO Magazine surveys Chief Financial Officers about raising the minimum wage.

Chief Financial Officers say increasing the national minimum wage to $10 an hour could have negative consequences.

The latest survey by Duke University and CFO Magazine shows companies would cut jobs or reduce hiring if the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour. 

Duke Finance Professor John Graham says nearly half of retail firms and one-third of service and manufacturing companies said they would decrease hiring plans.

"Why a higher minimum wage obviously helps those people earning it, it can have a negative consequence of some people, some low wage employees, actually losing their job," said Graham.

But what if the minimum wage increased only $1.25 to $8.50 an hour? Graham says the survey showed CFO's complained less.  Only about 10% said they would decrease hiring plans.

“So it seems like there is a window there for some moderate increase in minimum wage, but going all the way to $10 might have some negative, unintended consequences,” said Graham.

President Barack Obama tried to start the minimum wage ball rolling earlier this year when he raised the hourly rate for government contract workers to $10.10.  The Gap retail clothing company followed, raising its minimum wage to $9 this year and $10 in 2015.