Minimum Wage Is Killing US Entry-Level Jobs
Wednesday, Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurant Group, decried the push to raise the minimum wage, saying that doing so will lead to increased automation and eliminate entry-level jobs for America’s young people.
“When wages go up where they impact the profits of a business, these are people going into business to make a profit, they want to keep their costs down,” Mr. Puzder, who was nominated for Secretary of Labor by President Trump, said Wednesday on TV.
“When minimum wage goes up beyond what they pay with the current structure, they have to reduce people’s hours . . . or they automate. There are studies showing automation hurts young people, elderly people, African Americans. It really does hurt. Competition is much more effective at driving wages up.”
Mr. Puzder pointed to various fast food franchises similar to Carl’s Jr., which is owned by CKE, as examples of how a rising minimum wage pushes companies towards automation.
“For years it was more expensive to buy the machine, and you didn’t have the personal touch,” he said. “Now, with millennials moving up, they do everything on iPhones and digitally, you see more acceptance of the kiosks. They have come down in price.
“. . . Ruby Tuesday just laid off people in their restaurants, they have on the table ordering. This is spreading fast and wide, and it is unfortunate, because young people need those entry level jobs. My first entry level job was at Baskin Robbins. I tell you what, you learn so much in short period of time. People need entry-level jobs to get the experience. This minimum wage hike is killing them. A very negative thing for the country.”