Shock Report: Obama Minimum Wage Hike Could Wipe Out 30% of Puerto Rico Private Sector Jobs

Guest post by Kristinn Taylor

puerto rico protest
A worker protests in Puerto Rico. (Daily Hamodia)

A Cato Institute study of effects on state and territory economies should President Barack Obama’s proposed hourly minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $10.10 be passed in to law show the already troubled economy of Puerto Rico would be hit quite hard.


According to an analysis of the Cato report by Frank Worley-Lopez, Puerto Rico has about 700,000 private sector jobs and 285,000 government jobs. Those holding 471,000 of the private sector jobs make below Obama’s $10.10 minimum wage proposal.

Worley-Lopez, the first state chairman of the Libertarian Party of Puerto Rico, writes that the Cato study says an estimated 193,610 to 203,031 Puerto Ricans would lose their jobs if the minimum wage were raised to Obama’s desired $10.10. That works out to about 30% .

“This would put Puerto Rico’s already disastrous financial situation into the abyss of economic chaos,” Worley-Lopez wrote about the effect of Obama’s minimum wage hike. He says Puerto Rico could ask for an exemption, but he doubts any politician would dare do that.

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