Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is the latest business leader to endorse increasing the minimum wage.
Schultz revealed his support for an increase during a Wednesday interview with CNBC. “On balance, I am a supporter of the minimum wage going up,” Schultz said. But he added that he does have some reservations about the policy.
“You have to be very careful of the unintended consequences,” Schultz explained. “We’ve got to be very careful what we wish for because some employers — and there could be a lot of them — will be scared away from hiring new people or creating incremental hours for part-time people as a result of that wage going up.”
Despite Schultz’s broadly shared reservations, a recent study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research suggests that raising wages actually has little to no effect on employment.
Schultz — who has donated in the past to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is pushing to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour — is far from the only business leader to support such a measure. In early March, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek publicly backed Pelosi’s Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, arguing that “instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty.” Other business leaders such as Nick Hanauer and Carl Camden told The Washington Post’s Matt Miller in February that they support an increase.
These businessmen are joined by the vast majority of the American people; according to one recent poll, 71 percent support raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour, while just 21 percent oppose such a move.