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Higher minimum wage supporters question survey touted by opponents

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Supporters of a higher minimum wage question a recent survey showing that Wisconsin would lose 27,000 jobs if the wage is raised to $10.10 an hour.

Four business groups in the Badger State unveiled results Wednesday of a survey from Washington's Employment Policies Institute.

It agreed that just over half of state residents support hiking the minimum wage by almost $3 from the current $7.25. But once people realize the jobs that could be lost, the support drops to 39 percent.

Leaders of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the grocers' and restaurant associations, and the National Federation of Independent Business say small businesses don't have the money to cover the higher labor costs. They said it would jack up consumer prices, force layoffs, and provide incentives for people not to fight for fewer jobs.

Democrats call those false claims, saying bigger paychecks would put more money into the economy. They also raise a new argument not brought out in past debates -- that taxpayers are picking up health care and other benefits for low wage workers who can't get them from the boss.

Also, Scot Ross of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now questioned the questioners' objectivity. He called the survey a "corporate PR stunt."

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)