Web poll: 85% says minimum wage good for economy boost - July 23, 2009

Our web poll was only online for a four, five days, never got such a high participation in such a small period. And never were the voters so clear in their verdicts: Yes, a minimum wage is a good instrument to boost the economy, said 85 percent. Only 15 percent thought minimum wages did more harm then good by destroying job opportunities.

Percentage varied slightly per country, but never before the verdict of our voters was so clear.

Total participation was 2,421 voters in Spain, the US, India, Argentina, Belarus, Colombia, Mexico, the UK and the Netherlands. For other countries the participation was too small to be included.

The reason to take the poll this week was because in the US on Friday July 24, the minimum wages for millions of people will be raised, and - for example here in the Wall Street Journal - there was a fierce lobby against minimum wages. In total wages of about 10 million American citizens will be affected, writes the WSJ: 

The impact of the higher minimum wage will resonate even beyond that group of earners and industries. Economists say there are 2.8 million workers earning between the current federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour and the new minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which takes effect on July 24 and has had no signs of delay from legislators. But some estimates figure an additional seven million workers are affected because their wages are tied to the minimum and will go up accordingly.

And the paper was sure this was bad for the economy. One of the first quotes in the WSJ article:

"It's tough timing," said John Silva, chief economist at Wells Fargo, who expects low-skilled workers and teenagers will be hit hardest. "You're going to have a very negative response. In a recession like this, companies don't have the pricing power to pass on those costs."

In our poll, a large majority does not buy that argument.

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The WageIndicator is an international, continuous web-based operation now in 45 countries. It provides free, accurate wage data through Salary Checks on national WageIndicator websites. It collects wage data through web surveys. Please note that, in contrast to our scientifically based Salary Checks, the results of our web polls are not scientifically tested.


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