Cost of a $15 minimum wage: 6.6 million jobs

The "Fight for 15" crowd could be left fighting for jobs if their dream of a $15 minimum wage comes true.

A $15 minimum wage nationwide would cost 6.6 million jobs and affect 55 million workers, according to a new study published by the American Action Forum and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (my former employer). Low-wage workers would see gains of $105.4 billion spread among them, even after the job losses. But less than 7 percent of that gain would go to workers who actually live in poverty.

"Not only would overall employment growth be lower as a result of a higher minimum wage, but much of the increase in income that would result for those fortunate enough to have jobs would go to relatively higher-income households—not to those households in poverty in whose name the campaign for a higher minimum wage is being waged," Manhattan Institute President Lawrence Mone wrote in the study's foreword.

The study assumes the minimum wage would gradually rise to $15 an hour by the year 2020.