Prominent Members of Congress have proposed raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, more than doubling the federal minimum wage. States with lower costs of living would see an even greater real increase. At the state level, the minimum wage would cover one-third of wage and salary workers. The new minimum-wage legislation, including payroll taxes and the employer mandate, would increase the minimum cost of hiring a full-time worker to $18.61 per hour.
Businesses would respond to these higher labor costs by reducing employment of affected workers by over one-sixth, thus eliminating approximately seven million full-time-equivalent jobs by 2021. Forcing employers to pay starting wages of $15 per hour would make many less skilled workers unemployable.