Survey: CFOs Would Lay Off Employees If Minimum Wage Rises To $15

Sep 9, 2014

A national survey of CFOs reports that companies would likely layoff employees if the federal minimum wage were to double.
Credit 401(K) 2012 / Creative Commons

Chief Financial Officers across the country say that hiking the federal minimum wage could lead to mass layoffs. Rebecca Martinez reports they're not willing to move far from the $7.25-per-hour standard.

Duke University and CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey wrapped up Friday, after 74 consecutive quarters. It's world's longest-running survey of senior finance executives. They say few companies would act if the minimum wage were raised to $8.75 an hour.

But if pay jumped to $15, nearly half of CFOs said they would start laying-off employees. Two-thirds said they would curb future hiring growth at that level. The survey says that's the point at which companies would switch from human labor to robots, where possible.

But, about 40 percent of CFOs said they could probably attract higher quality workers and reduce turnover at $15 an hour, too.

Seattle decided to make that jump this summer. Time will tell whether it disturbs the robot-to-human labor balance.