Companies will replace low-skilled workers with machines if President Obama’s 40 percent minimum wage hike passes, according to a survey of top accounting professionals.
A Duke University survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) found that a $10.10 minimum wage would lead to layoffs, curtail future hiring, and replace low-skilled workers with machines.
“In general, firms indicate they could reasonably accommodate a modest hike in the minimum wage to $8.75 but substantial negative consequences would kick in as the wage approaches $10,” the survey concludes. “An ongoing shift away from labor and towards machinery will accelerate if the minimum wage is increased.”
The survey examined how CFOs, who are the top accounting officials at companies, would respond to increasing the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $8.25, $10, and the $15 wage backed by union front groups and fast food activists. The business leaders overwhelmingly said that the leap to $8.25 was manageable, but the 40 percent hike to $10 per hour would hurt workers, especially entry-level and low-skilled employees.