MARYLAND

Raising Md. minimum wage could be costly

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (WJLA) - If you ask around the National Harbor about raising Maryland’s minimum wage, you’ll get a lot of positive responses saying it’s a great idea and that employees with families need to make a little more money.

Yet when the matter is taken up by the Maryland legislature later this week, economist Stephen Fuller plans to testify that with Maryland surrounded by states not raising wages, it will be costly:

“It isn’t that this isn’t a good idea – it’s that doing it alone all by yourself makes it expensive.”

Fuller explained that the hardest-hit sectors would be retail, hospitality, healthcare services, and construction – ultimately costing the state of Maryland about 20,000 jobs with most of the money going to people 25 and younger who hold the highest number of minimum wage jobs.

"You can't really make a living off of $7.25 an hour -- the cost of living in Maryland is too high," says Richard Decuir.

But Fuller argues that the increase would not necessarily reduce poverty:

"Only five-percent are heads of households, so there's no evidence that this helps poverty."

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