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Florida Chamber Hits Out At Minimum Wage Hike In Economic Forecast

a job growth chart
This chart shows the forecast for private sector job growth in Florida in 2020. Credit: FLORIDA CHAMBER

Florida businesses will create around 200,000 jobs and add about 300,00 residents in 2020, according to the latest economic forecast from the Florida Chamber. 

But the business group's chief economist warned about a "big threat" to the state's economy: a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. Floridians will vote on the plan in November.

"No state has ever passed a public referendum, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Jerry Parrish said at a Thursday presentation.  "And of the states that have increased it to $12 an hour, none made it by receiving 60% of the vote."

Polling shows Floridians are broadly in favor of an increase. The chamber and other businesses groups have argued raising the minimum wage will lead to job losses and small businesses closures. Studies of communities that have gone to $15 an hour show a more nuanced picture.

According to CNBC,  some resturants in Seattle raised prices after the higher wage went into effect, while others changed their business model to better accomodate higher pay. 

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.
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