Budget agency defends wage report after White House criticism

Man holds a pamphlet handed out by a recruiter while attending a job fair in New YorkBy David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the Congress’ budget agency on Wednesday defended its findings that President Barack Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase would cause job losses, a day after the White House criticized the agency’s methodology. White House officials have taken issue with the Congressional Budget Office’s conclusion that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would lead to a loss of about half a million jobs by late 2016. The administration’s criticisms of the non-partisan CBO were unusual, given the respect that the agency commands from both Republicans and Democrats as Washington’s referee on budget and economic issues. CBO director Doug Elmendorf pushed back against suggestions that the agency had not taken into account some research on the effects of raising the minimum wage.

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