Biden Adviser on CBO Saying $15 Minimum Wage Will Cost Jobs: ‘We Have a Tendency to Focus on Some of the Big Negatives’

On Monday’s “MSNBC Live,” White House Counsel of Economic Advisers member Jared Bernstein reacted to the Congressional Budget Office study showing that a $15 minimum wage would cost over 1 million jobs by saying that raising the minimum wage increases wages, “we have a tendency to focus on some of the big negatives,” and that “some of the more contemporary minimum wage research,” shows that increasing the minimum wage would have a smaller impact on jobs.

Host Chris Jansing asked, “There’s a fascinating study out by the Congressional Budget Office that says it would actually cost 1.4 million jobs by 2025, but would reduce the number of Americans below the poverty line by 900,000. What’s your analysis of that, your reaction?”

Bernstein responded, “I mean, with respect, the part you just read leaves out, by far, by far, the most important number in that study, which is 27 million people get a wage increase from raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The other numbers that you mentioned, they do come out of the study, you’re correct about that. But we have a tendency to focus on some of the big negatives, or, in this case, the deficit impact. I think that one of the reasons that the president has consistently pushed this policy is because it is one of the fastest, most reliable, quickest ways of getting reliable help to low-income workers, many of whom have been essential workers in this economy. Fulfillment workers in warehouses, healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and yes, as you mentioned, there are job loss effects in the study, but, in fact, if you look at some of the more contemporary minimum wage research, and I’ve contributed to some of that research myself, it looks — takes a very careful look at this aspect of the problem and finds much smaller effects in that regard.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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