Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) — Increasing the U.S. minimum wage may lift some workers out of poverty while leading to as many as 1 million job losses, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.
The report was seized on by House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican who opposes President Barack Obama’s call to increase the minimum wage to $10.10. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.
“While helping some, mandating higher wages has real costs, including fewer people working,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner, said in a statement. “With unemployment Americans’ top concern, our focus should be creating — not destroying — jobs for those who need them most.”
Increasing the minimum wage is among the top priorities for Obama and Democrats in Congress. A Jan. 8 poll by Quinnipiac University found that 71 percent of Americans, including 52 percent of Republicans, support raising the minimum wage.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said today that “no matter how the critics spin this report, the CBO made it absolutely clear: raising the minimum wage would lift almost 1 million Americans out of poverty.”