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Maryland Restaurant Association Releases Minimum Wage Poll

March 6th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The Restaurant Association of Maryland has released results of a poll which paints a different picture of support for the $15 an hour minimum wage proposal.

Here is a release put out by the association this morning:

Support for the $15 minimum wage bill falls sharply if it means higher prices for eating out and paying more for retail goods and services, and it “plummets” if it results in jobs losses for low-skill workers, such as employees in the fast-food industry, according to a newly released poll of registered voters in Maryland.

The poll, conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services, reveals that while 43 percent of registered Maryland voters “strongly favor” a law requiring all employers to pay a $15 minimum wage, just 28 percent “strongly favor” the bill if it means paying higher prices, a 15-point decline.

What’s more revealing is that just 12 percent of the respondents “strongly favor” a $15 minimum wage if it results in a loss of jobs for low-skill workers, while 70 percent would “oppose” a law if low-skilled jobs are lost (55 percent “strongly oppose” and 15 percent somewhat oppose), according to the poll.

“The Maryland General Assembly needs to exhibit contemplation and deliberation as minimum wage legislation winds its way through the process in Annapolis,” wrote Patrick E. Gonzales, who conducted the poll and heads Gonzales Research & Media Services.

“When Maryland voters understand the stark reality of this legislation, they overwhelmingly do not support it,” said Marshall Weston, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, a 2,000-member state-wide trade association representing the state’s restaurants. “Forcing restaurants to pay a $15 minimum wage for entry-level, unskilled workers will not only drive up prices for consumers, but will also result in employers cutting back employees’ hours, eliminating jobs, and turning to technology so they can survive in a highly competitive industry.”

“Minimum wage jobs are essentially workforce training programs for unskilled workers.  The employer teaches a skill and how to be valuable in the workforce so that the employee can become more productive.  This increased productivity leads to advancement opportunities and pay raises,” Weston continued.  “The results of this poll clearly show that the people of Maryland are concerned about minimum wage increasing to a point where these entry level jobs will no longer exist.” 

Gonzales interviewed 817 registered Maryland voters statewide from February 22nd through March 1st, 2019. The poll uncovered dramatic shifts even among the most ardent supporters of the $15 minimum wage. Many changed their opinion specifically when asked about higher prices and potential job losses.

“The abstract concept of a legislated mandatory $15 minimum wage for all workers in Maryland has, at first blush, resonance for many voters in the state,” Gonzales wrote. “However, when presented with concrete possible outcomes of a mandated minimum wage, voter attitudes shift markedly.”

For instance, “79% of Democrats in Maryland favor the idea of a law requiring all employers in Maryland to pay their workers a minimum salary of $15 per hour,” according to Gonzales. “But when asked their opinion about a $15 minimum mandated wage if it were to result in higher prices for goods and services, support drops to 59% with Democrats. And, when asked about a $15 minimum wage if a consequence was a loss of jobs for low-skill workers, such as those in the fast food industry…support among Democrats plunges to 23%.”

Even voters in Baltimore City, strong supporters of the minimum wage bill, opposed the legislation if it results in job losses. According to the poll, nearly 56 percent of registered voters in Baltimore City “strongly opposed” the bill when jobs are threatened. 

3 Responses to “Maryland Restaurant Association Releases Minimum Wage Poll”

  1. March 06, 2019 at 3:34 pm, jackblack said:

    CHECK MATE–$$$$$$$$$$$


  2. March 06, 2019 at 5:07 pm, Steve said:

    Employers in the different geographic areas of Md & the U.S. pay the hourly rate that is necessary for their regions to ensure they are staffed. Mandating a specific rate for all is a HUGE mistake. Watch the prices of all goods as well as the loss of jobs / business closings occur because of politicians. AGAIN!! Folks on fixed incomes will be the biggest sufferers.


  3. March 07, 2019 at 5:31 am, mark said:

    I can’t afford to pay above slavery so I’ll close my business?? Fine with me, you shouldn’t even be in business if you expect free labor, but that’s how the greedy “business” class rolls. To hell with ‘em!


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