By Cristie Leondis
A nationwide survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder revealed that 62% of employers and 58% of company senior leaders want to see minimum wage increase in their state. Although the majority of employers stated that only 7% believe $15 to be fair, 9% don’t believe there should be a minimum, and 48% think the answer is somewhere between $10 and $14 an hour. The sample survey group consisted of 2,188 full-time hiring and human resources managers and 3,372 full-time employees in the private sector.
A majority of employers — 55% — believe that $10 an hour is a fair minimum wage. However, 53% of employers state that higher minimum wages would increase consumer spending. All major industries showed that they would support a minimum wage hike: 68% in retail, 67% in information technology, 65% in healthcare, 60% in leisure and hospitality, 59% in professional and business services, 54% in financial services, and 52% in manufacturing all favored the increase.
A large majority of employers — 74% — believe that a minimum wage increase could provide a higher standard of living for employees: 58% of employers stated that it would also have a positive effect on employee retention, and 55% said it could benefit the economy. However, other employers think that increasing the minimum wage would affect their business negatively: 66% say it would cause employers to hire fewer workers, and 65% state that it would hurt small businesses that are already struggling.
The majority of people earning the minimum wage struggle to make ends meet. A separate sample found that 79% of full-time, nonmanagement-level employees have worked minimum wage jobs in the past or are working a minimum wage job currently, and 59% were not or cannot make ends meet.
Only 27% of employers are hiring minimum wage workers in 2014; 45% are hiring more minimum wage workers now than they did before the recession. These employers are also more likely to support the minimum wage increase than those who are not (70% vs. 59%).
In terms of demographics, the percentage of employers in favor of increasing the minimum wage changes with gender (57% males vs. 68% females). Age also showed different percentages of those in support, 56% of 55+, 61% of ages 35-54, and 71% ages 18-34.