Northwood University, Michigan Chamber of Commerce View Minimum Wage Hike as Likely Impediment to Job Creation, Prosperity

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New, Joint Opinion Whitepaper, Available Online at University’s Free Market Library, Examines the Downside to Federal Wage Increase

Higher prices for everything from meals at restaurants to room rates at hotels, for example, will result in entry-level and unskilled workers being replaced by technology at a faster rate than normal...

The minimum wage continues to find itself under the political microscope. While Congressional action to raise the level has stalled for the time being, the issue has picked up momentum with state and municipal lawmakers.

“Debates are taking place across the United States as to whether the minimum wage should be raised above current state and/or federal levels,” says Michigan economist Timothy G. Nash. “In order to take a position on such an important topic, one should try to understand the breakdown as to the population of Americans who earn wages at or below the current federal minimum.”

Nash, vice president for corporate and strategic alliances and the Fry Endowed Professor in Economics at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, recently teamed up with the university’s President and CEO Keith A. Pretty, Rich Studley, president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Bob Thomas, the Chamber’s director of operations, to further examine this issue in an opinion whitepaper, housed online within the university’s comprehensive Free Market Library

The team used data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report, “Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers for 2013,” as a basis for their detailed analysis, as well as studies from noted academics and other government agencies.

The collective opinion of the authors is that the data shows that increasing the minimum wage reduces or eliminates net job opportunities for young, entry-level workers, particularly teenage workers, as well as unskilled workers. The authors believe a higher minimum wage will reduce the ability for young workers to find employment opportunities and cite the leisure and hospitality industry as one such sector that could suffer negative impacts.

“Higher prices for everything from meals at restaurants to room rates at hotels, for example, will result in entry-level and unskilled workers being replaced by technology at a faster rate than normal due to government interference via an increase in the minimum wage,” Nash says. “In these challenging economic times, we believe government policy should be creating incentives to create additional job opportunities, not fewer ones.”

The whitepaper can be viewed in its entirety at

For more information about Northwood University’s undergraduate, graduate and adult degree programs, visit


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at two full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida and mid-Michigan. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

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