When the minimum wage rises, so does the cost to employers.
Larger businesses are more able to absorb those costs, but smaller businesses often can’t. While they can raise prices to some degree to make up the difference, customers often don’t want to foot the entire bill.
The Wall Street Journal reports
that some small businesses are looking to technology to replace some of their workers. An owner of a cupcake eatery in Virginia is looking at buying tablet devices for her front counter so customers can place orders directly — and the business will no longer have to pay employees to perform the task.
The price of tablets have dropped enough recently to make their use, in place of increasingly expensive employees, a viable option, the Journal reports.
President Barack Obama in March pledged to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour, sparking Carla Hesseltine, the cupcake entrepreneur, to consider the move to tablets.
Obama’s proposal faces an uphill battle, and the president himself says that even if it becomes law the effects on jobs would be miniscule. And studies on the effects of increased wages on unemployment are often politicized, according to the Journal.
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