Raising the minimum wage in Nevada would hurt workers

Victor Joecks

Thank you Mr. Chair. For the record my name is Victor Joecks, and I’m with the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

As it is currently written, we oppose SB193. We do strongly support the removal of the daily overtime requirement, but not when combined with an increase in the minimum wage. This increase in the minimum wage would be harmful for entry-level and low-skill workers.

The primary value of entry-level jobs is that they allow workers to gain basic employment skills, which allows them to earn higher wages in the future. Raising the minimum wage, however, makes it harder for low skill workers to get those first jobs. Having that first job is crucial, because two-thirds of minimum wage workers earn a raise within a year.

Supply and demand shows that raising the minimum wage would make it harder for those struggling the most to get a job to get that first job. Nevada’s unemployment rate for 16-to-19 year-olds is 25.6 percent. For 20 to 24 year olds, it’s 15.2 percent.

Everything else held equal, raising the minimum wage would increase those unemployment rates. At the national level, the Congressional Budget Office has projected that an increase in the federal minimum wage would reduce employment by 100,000 jobs. I urge you not to increase unemployment in Nevada by increasing the minimum wage.

I don’t think anyone has eviscerated the minimum wage quite like Milton Friedman. Enjoy.