NRF Says No to Obama’s Call for Minimum Wage Increase

In the 2014 State of the Union address, which was given Jan. 28, President Barack Obama issued a call to business leaders and politicians at the state and local level to boost the minimum wage in order to strengthen the economy.

Earlier in the day, the retail trade group National Retail Federation issued a statement that a minimum-wage hike was the wrong idea.

“Raising the minimum wage would place a new burden on employers at a time when national policy should be focused on removing barriers to job creation, not creating new regulations or mandates. It’s simple math—if the cost of hiring goes up, hiring goes down,” NRF Chief Executive Officer Michael Shay said.

In the State of the Union speech, Obama said he would issue an executive order that would require federal contractors to pay federally funded employees a wage of at least $10.10 an hour. “Because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty,” the president said.

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. At $8 per hour, California is one of 21 U.S. states with a minimum wage higher than the federal wage. The state’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $9 per hour in July and to $10 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016. San Francisco and San Jose have even higher minimum-wage requirements. In San Jose, the minimum wage is $10.15 per hour, and, in San Francisco, it is $10.74 per hour.