Many Small Businesses Can’t Afford Unskilled Labor at $15 Per Hour


HARRISBURG, Jan. 30, 2019 – NFIB, the leading small business association in Pennsylvania which advocates on behalf of 12,500 members in the state, reacted to comments today by Gov. Tom Wolf regarding raising the minimum wage incrementally to $15 per hour. The following comments can be attributed to Gordon Denlinger, state director of NFIB in Pennsylvania:

“Governor Wolf’s support of a $15 wage doesn’t take into account the economic realities. Many small businesses like restaurants or small shops simply cannot afford to hire inexperienced or unskilled workers at a rate of $15 per hour. The business owner may not be able to raise prices because customers won’t pay a higher price. The employer is forced to reduce hours or eliminate jobs. You can’t change the nature of the marketplace and what people will pay for a product.

“If there isn’t enough coming into the business to cover the added labor costs, those lower-level jobs disappear. An October study of the Seattle situation showed that is just what can happen. As a result, it’s much harder for those at the very bottom of the pay scale to ever find work. That’s not good for employers or employees, and it’s not good for Pennsylvania’s economy. It actually hurts those it may be  intended to help.”


Gordon Denlinger
NFIB’s State Director in Pennsylvania

c: 717-587-5660