The majority of businesses favor raising the minimum wage, saying it would raise the standard of living among their employees and give the companies a better chance to hold on to their workers, new research finds.
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Overall, 62 percent of employers said the minimum wage in their state should be increased, including 58 percent of company senior leaders, according to a study from CareerBuilder.
Just 8 percent of those surveyed said $7.25 an hour, the current federal minimum wage, is fair. The majority of employers, 58 percent, said a fair minimum wage is between $8 and $10 an hour. Others said minimum wage workers should earn even more. Nearly 20 percent said a fair minimum wage is between $11 and $14, while 7 percent said minimum wage workers should make $15 or more per hour.
Employers cite a variety of reasons for supporting a minimum wage hike. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said such a wage increase could improve the standard of living for their employees; 58 percent said it could have a positive effect on employee retention, and 55 percent said it could help bolster the economy. [Minimum Wage Hikes: 4 Ways to Prepare Now]
Businesses listed other reasons to support higher wages, including that they could increase consumer spending, give employees more of an incentive to be productive and deliver high-quality work, and afford workers the opportunity to pursue more training or education.
Not all those surveyed, however, said a minimum wage increase is good for businesses. Among those who don't support an increase, 66 percent said they oppose the wage hikes because they could cause employers to hire less people, while 65 percent said such an increase may cause difficulties for small businesses that are already struggling to get by.
Employers gave other reasons for opposing wage hikes, including the potential that such an increase would cause businesses to hike prices to offset labor costs, layoff employees and use more automation as a replacement for workers.
The research revealed that 27 percent of employers are hiring minimum wage workers in 2014, including 51 percent of retailers and 58 percent of leisure and hospitality firms. Of those, 70 percent support an increase, compared to just 59 percent of those businesses not hiring minimum wage workers this year.
The study found that those workers who do work minimum wage jobs are struggling to get by. Nearly 60 percent of full-time, non-management-level employees who have worked a minimum wage job were not or are not able to make ends meet financially.
The study was based on surveys of 2,188 full-time hiring and human resource managers and 3,372 full-time workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes.
Originally published on Business News Daily