NEW: Raising RI Minimum Wage Would Kill 3400 Jobs—Report

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


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Plans to raise the RI minimum wage could result in job loss in the thousands, according to a new report.

Rhode Islanders could see a loss of up to 3,466 jobs, if the federal minimum wage-hike bill (raising the wage $10.10) supported by Rhode Island's Congressional delegation was to become law, according to a report issued today by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-partisan public policy think tank.

Similarly, if the proposed bill in the RI General Assembly that would hike the rate to $8.25 were to pass in Rhode Island, about 432 jobs would be at risk, as compared with 2011, according to the same report.

Equally as important, the data in the report invalidates the traditional minimum-wage worker profile, often painted by advocates who seek to increase this rate.

"The perception that minimum wage workers largely represent poor or low-income individuals, attempting to fully support their families, is not supported by the data", said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. "In evaluating this policy, we must take into consideration the negative effect of no job and fewer early employment opportunities for many Rhode Islanders versus the minimal take home pay increase for a relatively small number of family breadwinners."

Among the findings in the report, among minimum wage workers in Rhode Island:

  • only 28% work close to a full-time, 40-hour week
  • about 55% live with another family member or friend, and are not fully responsible for all living expenses
  • the average family income is over $61,000, for those who currently earn $8.25 per hour or less
  • about 60% are below the age of 25

For additional details, tables, and graphs, see the Center's full report at

Today's report is a follow-up to a larger minimum wage report, Teen Unemployment Sinking in the Ocean State, published by the Center in 2012.  


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