A new survey by CareerBuilder suggests that the bulk of employers do not think that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is fair and now, more than ever, they want to take steps to improve earnings for the so-called working poor.
So, why now? According to the survey, which included the responses of 3,200 full-time workers and more than 2,100 full-time hiring and human resource managers in the private sector, a full three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet. Of workers who currently have a minimum wage job or have held one in the past, two-thirds said they couldn’t make ends meet and 50 percent said they had to work more than one job to make it work.
According to the survey, a full 95 percent of all employers believe the federal minimum wage is unfair and are pushing for it to be raised. A whopping 67 percent feel a fair minimum wage is $10 or more per hour, up from 61 percent last year; and 15 percent say a fair minimum wage is $15 or more per hour, up from 11 percent last year. Further, 64 percent of employers believe minimum wage should be increased in their state, up from 62 percent in 2014.
Of those surveyed, 30 percent said they plan to hire minimum wage workers this year, up from 26 percent last year. However, while 67 percent felt a fair minimum wage is $10 or more per hour, of those hiring minimum wage workers this year, 48 percent said they’re going to pay less than $10, and a full 11 percent said they planned to pay less than $8 per hour.
When asked why they think the minimum wage in their state should be increased, 72 percent said because it can improve the standard of living, while 59 percent suggested that it can have a positive effect on employee retention and 53 percent said it can help bolster the economy. Of those opposed to increasing minimum wage in their state, 67 percent said they believe this because it can potentially cause employers to hire less people, 66 percent because it can cause issues for small businesses who are struggling to get by and 65 percent because it can cause increases in prices to offset labor costs.
“Fair wages and benefits such as paid sick days are a hot political topic right now, and they’re also on employers’ minds as the public and private sector continue to work to provide good jobs, which will lead to a stronger, more stable workforce, leading ultimately to a healthier economy,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder.
For more information on the CareerBuilder survey, please click here.