WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said raising the federal minimum wage, as President Obama and Democrats want, would raise earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016. But it would also cut roughly 500,000 U.S. workers.
The Congressional Budget Office analysis comes as the Senate prepares to debate a Democratic plan to gradually increase the current $7.25 minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in 2016.
The budget office analysis examined the impact such a plan would have by 2016, when the increase would take full effect.
The analysts said their estimate of employment losses was approximate, and that the actual impact could range from a very slight employment reduction to a loss of one million workers or more.
Democrats say the wage boost would help workers, but Republicans have warned it would cost jobs.
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