Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren believes that raising the minimum wage would result in fewer jobs for Americans.
"We did this in 2009, that was the last time, and I think there was half a million jobs lost that were attributed to that raise," Lundgren told Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed.
"What you really have to be careful of is you don’t want to raise the wage and lay people off in order to be able to afford it because that would be the opposite of what we are all trying to do here," he said.
While the federal minimum wage is still $7.25 per hour, many states have begun to raise wages higher. California, Connecticut, and Maryland will pay workers a minimum of $10 or more in coming years, according to the Associated Press.
Fast food workers have also been petitioning for wages of $15 per hour.
Macy's sales associates make an average of $8.76 an hour, according to the website Glass Door.
Lundgren told Maheshwari that raising the minimum could result in more layoffs. Macy's announced in January that it was cutting 2,500 jobs.
"So if your costs go up by X million by taking an initiative like this, what are companies going to do? It doesn’t mean their sales are going to get better, it just means that you’re going to have to offset that expense and how are you going to offset that expense?" Lundgren asked. "The worst thing that can happen is we end up laying off people."
Lundgren said that he thinks that reducing the corporate tax rate could help create more jobs.
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