Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would have little or no negative impact on employment, according to Labor Secretary Tom Perez in a Feb. 18 Twitter question-and-answer session.
The claim directly disputes numbers coming out of the Congressional Budget Office, which said a raise in the minimum wage would reduce total employment by 500,000 jobs.
— Tom Perez (@LaborSec) February 18, 2014
“Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent, CBO projects … As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger,” the CBO report said.
The report also concluded that about 16.5 million Americans would have higher earnings in an average week by 2016.
Perez’s claim was met with some skepticism from tweeters.
“What percentage of that 600 economists have owned a small business? Wasn’t subsidized Obamacare already a raise?” Twitter user @TampaMP asked.
Perez’s conversation was met with other questions about the fate of the minimum wage bill, which is sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
“Why is it taking so long to decide to raise the minimum wage?” asked @ebeliah80.
Perez urged supporters to contact their Congress members about the issue.
The minimum wage bill moved into the public eye as President Barack Obama announced he would sign an executive order raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10.
The federal minimum wage will begin on all new contracts starting next January, according to Perez.