By Rachel Chasson
Montgomery County would lose approximately 47,000 jobs by 2022 if it raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour, according to a study released by the county government Tuesday evening.
County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) commissioned the study — which suggests the vast majority of jobs lost would be low-wage positions — when he vetoed an increase to the minimum wage in January.
Last week, county council member Marc Elrich introduced a new bill to bring the hourly minimum wage up from the current $11.50 to $15. The bill attempted to address opponents’ concerns about the impact of an increase by giving nonprofit organizations, adult day-care providers and companies with fewer than 26 employees until 2022, instead of 2020, to raise wages.
The business community and others who oppose a higher minimum wage criticized Elrich for proposing the legislation days before the study was due. But proponents of raising the wage questioned the value of the study, conducted by the Philadelphia-based economic consulting group PFM, since it asked employers to predict what would happen instead of looking at the impact of an actual wage hike.