What would the economic impact be if more local companies paid a Living Wage?

Team 4 – Living Wage Research (2)

Key Questions:

  1. What might be the economic impact for Asheville if more companies paid living wage?
  2. Would it affect businesses choosing to open or start here?
  3. What might be the impact on businesses and organizations as well as the general quality of life if wages rose here?

Summary of Research:

This group interviewed economists from UNC Asheville as well as staff from Montreat College and a local bank manager. All expressed scepticism regarding the efficacy of a wide spread adoption of a living wage standard or a mandated increase in the minimum wage. The largest concern is that higher labor costs would dissuade potential employers from establishing or expanding businesses in the region. Likewise, some feared that higher wages would lead to decreases in staffing. Alternatives such as the Earned Income Tax Credit were cited as ways for low wage workers to receive support while not negatively impacting the region’s business.