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Oklahoma City staffing firm says employers would lay off workers if minimum wage rises

If minimum wage were to rise to $10.10 an hour 38 percent of companies that pay workers minimum wage say they would be forced to lay off some employees, according to a survey by Oklahoma City-based staffing firm Express Employment Professionals.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: March 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm •  Published: March 22, 2014
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If the minimum wage were to rise to $10.10 an hour, as proposed by President Barack Obama, 38 percent of companies that pay workers minimum wage say they would be forced to lay off some employees, according to a survey by Oklahoma City-based staffing firm Express Employment Professionals.

Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest privately held staffing firm, surveyed 1,213 business owners and human resources professionals nationwide in February, 230 of which reported paying their employees the current minimum wage of $7.25.

Of employers that pay minimum wage, 54 percent said they would reduce hiring, and 65 percent said they would raise prices on their goods and services.

“There’s been a lot of debate and speculation about the impact of a minimum wage increase on job creation,” Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said in a statement. “At Express, we decided to go directly to the employers who make those decisions to find out what a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would mean for them specifically and for the economy in general.”

There is no data to support that a minimum wage increase would actually translate into layoffs and higher prices, said Tim O’Connor, president of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation.

“Businesses were making the same kinds of arguments the last time minimum wage went up in 2009, and we have seen that that hasn’t been the case,” O’Connor said.

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by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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