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Letter: CBO job-loss estimate if minimum wage raised seems dubious
First Published Apr 11 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Apr 11 2014 01:01 am

While trusting the majority of Congressional Budget Office forecasts, I’m wondering if they’ve considered all the angles when recently projecting a loss of half a million jobs should the minimum wage be increased to $10.10 an hour ("Minimum wage value falling but fairness is debated," Tribune, March 31).

Not only do other studies disagree, but I wonder if the CBO gave enough emphasis to the impact of lower employee turnover and increased customer satisfaction.

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Two recent personal observations help form the basis for my doubt. First, a perturbing encounter with a noticeably challenged work crew at a local fast food eatery I’ll refrain from identifying. It was obvious they were new and untrained to the point of being unable to provide even a modicum of acceptable service. Wait time was untenable and food quality was disappointing. I’d be surprised if many customers return.

Compare that to the experience at my favorite Costco. It’s the exact opposite. Why? My suspicion is because Costco pays workers relatively well, thus promoting a stable and highly motivated workforce who enthusiastically provide superior customer satisfaction. Greater customer demand means more employment, not less.

Doesn’t it make sense that lower employee turnover combined with greater business success adds up to fewer lost jobs?

Raymond A. Hult


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