Labor Secretary Harris Ditches Minimum Wage Talking Points for Common Sense

In his tour across the country to drum up support for President Obama’s minimum wage hike proposal, Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris has been towing the (false) party line that mandated wage hikes won’t have a negative effect on the availability of entry-level job opportunities. (Click here to see the actual facts)

In a recent interview with an NPR affiliate in Delaware, however, the Labor Secretary broke from his talking points: “I’m not going to say any particular business might not have a problem hiring if we raise the minimum wage…”

It’s a big concession coming from a partisan player like Harris, but it should come as no surprise to anyone with more than a passing familiarity with labor economics. Fully 85 percent of the most credible studies on this subject acknowledge that a government-mandated wage hike has costs in the form of fewer entry-level opportunities.

It’s nice to see the country’s top labor official acknowledge this fact, however briefly.