63% Believe Minimum Wage Should Be Set By State or Local Governments

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters believe that the minimum wage should be set by state (41%) or local (22%) governments. A ScottRasmussen.com survey found that just 37% believe it should be established by the federal government.

Support for having state and local governments set the minimum wage comes from 68% of Independent voters, 65% of Republicans, and 56% of Democrats (see crosstab results).

The survey also found that 48% of voters favor establishing a lower minimum wage for teenagers while 38% are opposed. Data released earlier showed that 77% of Americans have worked for the minimum wage at some point in their life. For the vast majority, they did so as a teenager.

Forty-nine percent (49%) believe it is more important to create jobs for low income workers rather than raising the minimum wage. Thirty-six percent (36%) take the opposite view. Seventy-one percent (71%)  support a temporary training wage for unskilled workers to learn a new job.

Scott Rasmussen has written in support of letting state and local governments set the minimum wage. In addition to allowing for more experimentation and nuance, it would shift the final decision making authority from the politicians to the people. “The wisdom of raising the minimum wage in a particular county will be determined by the decisions of residents and local businesses. Maybe the higher minimum will attract more people or maybe it will drive away businesses and jobs. It’s even possible that the higher minimum wage will have no discernable impact. After all, it’s just one small part of the overall lifestyle mix offered by local communities.” Most importantly, “Letting local governments set their own rules empowers people to vote with their feet.”

The survey found that 72% believe the minimum wage today should be between $10.00 and $15.00 per hour.

Other data shows that Americans vastly overestimate the number of people working for the minimum wage.

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The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted May 12-13, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).


Posted in Poll Results

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