Issues regarding job creation and workers’ rights have been central to this year’s mid-term election. For months, candidates in every key race have claimed to be the person who will create more jobs. The ballots in many states included referendum questions regarding worker rights. The mid-term elections are now behind us. What conclusions can be drawn regarding the sentiments of American voters regarding today’s employment conditions in the United States?
While it is too soon to tell whether the winning candidates will actually fulfill their promises to create additional jobs, we do know from exit polls that many voters cited dissatisfaction with the economy and the “need for a change” as their reason for their candidate choices. Across the nation, voters indicated that they felt that they were paying more taxes, have fewer career options, and were worse off economically than they were a decade ago.
Their views were also reflected in the results of referendum questions:
One question that remains unanswered is, will these new mandates ultimately help or hurt workers? Those opposed to raising the minimum wage argue that it lowers employment. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would create about 500,000 job losses. But numerous economic studies over the past twenty years saw little or no employment impact when minimum wages were raised at the federal or state level. Similarly, many fear that passage of the paid leave mandate will create an undue hardship on employers, causing them to select other locations for their business operations. There is no research – contradictory or otherwise – to help predict the impact of paid sick leave.
The greater question is, is it possible to create more jobs while introducing policies that increase corporate expenses? Time will tell whether each of us voted wisely in the mid-term elections. DCR will be carefully watching to determine the effects of our choices, and we’ll keep you posted!
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