1. It’s going to cost jobs.
Young people in particular will find it harder to get work. Entry level jobs – like at restaurants and stores – disappear, because it’s cheaper for businesses to switch to kiosks, computer screens, and other new technology that replaces people with machines.
The minimum wage is for entry level jobs. Young people have to start somewhere, but one economic study says up to 75,000 Arizonans won’t get hired if the minimum wage is raised too sharply.
2. Prop 206 hits small businesses the hardest.
Besides mandating a 49% increase in a small business’s largest cost – labor – Prop 206 also has an expensive new regulation that mandates sick pay for workers. Big companies may be able to afford that because they have so many workers; but it’s another substantial burden for small companies that are just getting by. Arizona’s economy was one of the worst-hit in the country during the recession, and we’re just now getting our jobs back. Why would we hit small businesses with big new costs and regulations now, just when we’re starting to recover?
3. Prop 206 will disproportionately impact younger workers and those with lesser skills.
Employers hire fewer people when they have to pay more for those with limited experience or skills. We need to make it easier, not harder, for people to get entry level jobs that lead to better pay in the long run.
Here’s one example: In the first six months of 2016 – after Washington, DC raised its minimum wage to $10.50 cents an hour — restaurant jobs fell by 1,400 jobs (and by 2.7%). That’s the largest loss of District food jobs during a 6-month period in 15 years. And it’s all younger, lesser skilled, entry-level people who are being affected.
4. Prices for goods and services will increase.
An immediate and drastic jump in the minimum wage will force businesses that provide goods and services to increase costs. The increase in costs will be passed on to you—the consumer. Expect to see an immediate increase in your restaurant bill as well as other basic services.
5. Rural Arizona will especially pay the price.
Businesses in big cities like Phoenix may be able to charge more and get away with it, but that’s not the case in smaller towns and rural Arizona. The cost of living in Show Low or Nogales isn’t the same as Phoenix or Scottsdale. This one-size-fits-all approach to wages is unfair to large parts of our state that can least afford it.