Friday, May 25, 2018
Politics

PunditFact: Claim that raising federal minimum wage will cost 500,000 jobs is false

The statement

A Congressional Budget Office report says President Barack Obama's executive order to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers "will cost the economy 500,000 jobs."

Kai Ryssdal, host of NPR's Marketplace, on Tuesday

The ruling

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office re-entered the spotlight last week with a report that offered a little something for everyone on the effects of raising the federal minimum wage.

For those pushing for a $10.10-an-hour wage, the CBO concluded that 16.5 million low-wage earners would make more money a week under the proposal.

For people opposing the increased federal wage, the report found that raising it to $10.10 an hour would cost the country 500,000 jobs.

On American Public Media's Marketplace, host Kai Ryssdal tried to explain the developments to listeners. Marketplace is a business and economic affairs program that airs on National Public Radio stations in many U.S. markets.

"From the Congressional Budget Office today, this little tidbit: You remember President Obama's plan to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour? He signed the executive order just the other day, right? Well, the CBO said today that will cost the economy 500,000 jobs by the second half of 2016. Me? I figure the partisan bickering over that starts right about … now."

A PunditFact reader flagged Ryssdal's comments and asked us if they were accurate.

In this case, Ryssdal wrongly linked President Barack Obama's executive order for federal contract workers to what the CBO studied, which was the proposal to raise the minimum wage for workers nationwide.

The CBO concluded if the federal government gradually increased the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all workers, and tied future increases to inflation, the economy would shed 500,000 jobs by the second half of 2016 (all things constant under current law). That's about 0.3 percent of the workforce.

For the record, CBO analysts also said the number of lost jobs could vary depending on a number of factors. Overall, the effect could be anywhere from a "very slight" decrease in employment to a reduction of 1 million workers, CBO found.

The White House objected to the CBO's findings, with economic adviser Jason Furman telling reporters the report "goes outside of the consensus view" of economists who study the effect of higher minimum wages on employment.

The CBO analysis did contain good news for the White House, however. It concluded an additional 900,000 families would be pulled out of poverty and 16.5 million workers would get a raise if the minimum wage is increased to $10.10 an hour.

Marketplace senior producer Sitara Nieves acknowledged the mistake in an email to PunditFact and said it would be corrected on air.

We rate Ryssdal's claim False.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PunditFact.com.

Comments
North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series of huge explosions Thursday as a group of foreign journalists looked on. The explosi...
Published: 05/24/18
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Published: 05/23/18
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18