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Unintended Consequences of a $15 Minimum Wage?



There has been a recent push in large cities and some States to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and most recently Baltimore and the District of Columbia have all mandated that their local minimum wage will increase to $15 sometime between 2018 and 2022. Will Montgomery County be next?

The current minimum wage required for work performed in Montgomery County stands at $10.75 an hour and is scheduled to increase again in July 2017 to $11.50. The Montgomery County Council is reviewing an additional increase that will top out at $15 an hour by the year 2020. The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce has joined with several other Chambers in the County and asked the Council to slow down and make sure that they have all the information necessary to make this decision.

The primary impetus for raising the minimum wage to $15 is to help low-wage, low-skilled workers make a living wage. I think we can all agree that it is expensive to raise a family in this Montgomery County. However, at this point, we really don’t know what the full impact of a $15 minimum wage will have on the very population that it is targeting.