FACT SHEET: Debunking GOP Myths about the Minimum Wage


The Indiana Democratic Party enthusiastically supports the call for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would increase the minimum wage gradually to $15.00 an hour. It’s an idea that has been supported by Members of Hoosier Democrats both in the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana State Senate

What’s missing: support from the Indiana Republican Party. Hoosier Republicans from Governor Eric Holcomb to U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young and even the Indiana General Assembly have all opposed an increase to the minimum wage. 

While it unfortunately looks like providing Hoosiers a livable wage is a partisan issue, the Indiana Democratic Party wanted to equip the state press corps with a simple fact sheet that:

  • Lays out the impact an increase to the minimum wage would have on Hoosiers
  • Debunks misinformation and lies the INGOP will use as an excuse for being opposed to giving Indiana’s working class a fairer shot. 

Facts on the Minimum Wage 

About 30-percent of Indiana’s workforce earns a minimum wage or low-wage job. 

Using data from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), here’s how raising the minimum wage would benefit Hoosiers:

Demographics Congressional District 
White Hoosiers: 636,000
Women: 554,000
Black Hoosiers: 74,000
Seniors: 133,000
Middle-Aged Hoosiers: 431,000
All Hoosiers: 892,000 
IN01 – 85,000
IN02 – 102,000
IN03 – 104,000
IN04 – 102,000
IN05 – 83,000
IN06 – 95,000
IN07 – 126,000
IN08 – 97,000
IN09 – 98,000

Contrary to the Republican stereotypes, increasing the minimum wage universally helps everyone. According to EPI

  • The average age of affected workers is 35 years old. 
  • More than half of all affected workers are prime-age workers between the ages of 25 and 54.
  • The majority of workers who would be affected by a raise to the minimum wage (57.9 percent) are women.
  • The minimum wage increase would disproportionately raise wages for people of color.
  • The workers with families who would benefit are typically the primary breadwinner for their family, earning an average of 51.9 percent of their family’s total income.

Since 1998, every state ballot measure to increase the minimum wage has passed, including in “red” states like Arkansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Donald Trump’s Florida passed a ballot measure in 2020 with over 60-percent in support. 

Debunking Republican Myths about the Minimum Wage

MYTH: INGOP says job losses are imminent if there’s an increase to the minimum wage. 

FACT: Economists have not found any direct correlation between increasing the minimum wage and job loss. 

“But groundbreaking research in the 1990s suggested that the Econ 101 version was simplistic at best. Now there is growing confidence among economists — though far from a consensus — that lawmakers can mandate sharp increases in the minimum wage without killing large numbers of jobs.”  – Associated Press 

“…the higher a wage, the less likely it is that employees will quit. So a higher federal minimum could reduce high turnover at, say, fast-food outlets and make them more productive. Employers wouldn’t have to constantly scramble to find and train new employees — a task that consumes time, money and resources.” – Associated Press 

“…the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) released a [2019] study that directly undercuts common conservative arguments against a higher minimum wage: Policies that raise minimum wages don’t appear to cause significant job loss. In fact, they reduce poverty.” – New York Magazine

“…Previous IRLE research found that six major U.S. cities — Oakland, Chicago, and San Francisco among them — didn’t experience significant job losses after they raised their minimum wages…” – New York Magazine 

“Another important study gets at this question by looking at county-level data, comparing every contiguous county across state borders where minimum wages differed over the course of 16 years. Instead of ‘all sorts of problems,’ the researchers found ‘no evidence of job losses for high impact sectors such as restaurants and retail.’” – Washington Post

“Another recent study showed a similar result. In February 2018, the London School of Economics released research that examined minimum wage changes in the U.S. between 1979 and 2016. That study concluded that minimum wage increases did not significantly change the number of low-wage jobs.” – MarketWatch 

MYTH: INGOP says small businesses will be hurt if minimum wage is increased 

FACT: A majority of small businesses owners say increasing the minimum wage will have little impact on their business 

About 63-percent of small business owners support President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan, which includes an increase to the minimum wage. – CNBC

“…In the latest CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey for the first quarter 2020, small business owners across the country report sustained optimism at the start of 2020, and only a minority report a negative business impact resulting from the increased minimum wages.

In fact, in this quarter’s survey, 57% of all small business owners say these minimum wage increases will have no impact at all on their business in 2020, indicating that they can absorb the cost of the wage increase, sustain any loss in profits and find ways to raise revenue to compensate for the increase on their balance sheets.” […]

The percentage of business owners who say they may be forced to cut workers or reduce hours are the same regardless of whether a small business owner is based in a state with or without a 2020 minimum wage increase.” – CNBC

“Ben Zipperer, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), told Insider that there’s a “theoretical horror story” of businesses hiring less — and thereby hurting the lowest-paid workers — when the minimum wage is increased. He said that those effects are smaller or even nonexistent in the real world.” – Business Insider 

MYTH: INGOP says raising the minimum wage harms career advancement, sets “minimum expectation” for workers

FACT: Raising the minimum wage provides pathway out of poverty for Hoosiers

“Biden minimum wage proposal could lift more than 1 million workers out of poverty” – CBS News 

“A 2019 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report projected a significant improvement in the standard of living for at least 17 million people, assuming a minimum hourly wage of $15 by 2025, including an estimated 1.3 million people being elevated above the poverty line.” – Investopedia 

“Two economists at the University of California Berkeley, Ellora Derenoncourt and Claire Montialoux, reported last year that the expansion of the minimum wage in the 1960s and 1970s ‘played a critical role’ in temporarily narrowing the income gap between white and Black workers. They concluded that ‘minimum wage policy can play a critical role in reducing racial economic disparities.’” – Associated Press


Let’s elect more Hoosier Democrats
We can't sit this one out.