TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 31, 2017) - Express Employment Professionals released new survey results revealing how businesses would react to a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.

In a survey of 1,030 North American businesses, respondents were asked, "What action(s) would you take if minimum wage increased to $15 an hour." They were asked to select all responses that applied.

Forty-three percent reported that they would have to increase the lower wages in their companies.

Thirty-four percent warned that the $15 minimum wage would lead to increased prices, while 32 percent said they would eliminate positions.

Fourteen percent said they would increase wages for their more highly paid employees, while 3 percent said they would close their businesses and 1 percent said they would relocate.

Similar responses were given in surveys Express conducted in the previous two quarters, though the number of respondents saying they would increase prices or eliminate positions is down from late 2016. The number of businesses that would increase lower wages is up.

Full results are below.

"The $15 minimum wage has sparked contentious political debates across the country," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express. "As governments consider whether to implement it, they should be mindful of the consequences. Good intentions do not always lead to good results.

"After all, a higher wage for some can mean no wage for others. And, workers may end up having to spend the extra cash from higher wages on higher priced goods and services. It's a delicate balancing act."

What action(s) would you take if the minimum wage increased to $15 an hour? (Please check all that apply.) Q2
Increase lower wages in your company 43% 40% 38%
Increase the price of goods or services 34% 34% 40%
Eliminate positions 32% 33% 36%
Increase higher wages in your company 14% 13% 15%
Close the business 3% 2% 1%
Relocate your business 1% 2% 2%
Other 28% 25% 27%

Express Employment Professionals explored the consequences of a $15 minimum wage in depth in a 2016 white paper, "Good Intentions. Bad Results."

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Kellie Major at (613) 222-7488.

About Robert A. Funk

Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals and Express in Canada

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed nearly 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. Express launched in Canada in July 1996, with a franchise in London, Ontario, and since then, has expanded and grown across Canada significantly. There are currently 37 Express franchises in Canada - six in British Columbia, five in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan, 23 in Ontario and one in Nova Scotia.

Contact Information:

Media Contacts:
Kellie Major

Sheena Karami