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Key tenet of Biden economic policy platform could eliminate two million jobs, according to report

A $15 minimum wage would kill jobs across already vulnerable sectors.

Updated: October 19, 2020 - 5:01pm

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An economic policy that has become a central part of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's economic platform could cost the U.S. as many as two million jobs, according to a new report from the Employment Policies Institute, a pro-free market think tank.

The $15 minimum wage is something for which Biden has advocated for the entirety of his campaign. The nominee's website states it's "well past time we increase the federal minimum wage from $15 across the country." 

The current federal rate for the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. By increasing that number by more than 100%, the Employment Policies Institute found that millions of jobs could be eliminated inside the first six years of the policy change. 

Most of those jobs would come from already vulnerable sectors of the population, impacting primarily low-skill or entry-level positions. Furthermore, the report suggests that the majority of jobs lost will be those held by women, 10% of jobs affected will be held by Hispanics, and 9% by black workers. 

"Not only are 59 percent of minimum wage jobs held by women and slated to be affected by these wage increases, this means that 1.2 million jobs held by women will be lost by 2027 due to this policy, accounting for 61 percent of total losses," reads the report. 

The Biden-backed $15 minimum wage policy has been shown to hurt vulnerable industries before, but especially as business owners attempt to recover from the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, EPI managing director Michael Saltsman says the policy's implementation could be fatal to many businesses. 

"Increasing labor costs through a federal $15 minimum wage would only bring businesses — and the people they employ — closer to the point of no return," Saltsman told the Washington Free Beacon. 

The report does not account for cities and states that have already raised the minimum wage, which include San Francisco and Seattle. Seven states also have laws in place that will require a $15 minimum wage by the year 2025.