Brian Horn, editor, Lawn & Landscape

This month we feature our annual Top 100 list, which is a ranking of the largest companies in the landscaping industry. But this column focuses on something smaller – specifically, the recent conversation over a minimum wage increase. We surveyed our readership about the topic, and here are some of the results from approximately 200 respondents.

  • To give you an idea of who was surveyed, the majority of our respondents (62%) have a gross annual revenue of below $1 million.
  • 45% said all hourly employees are paid more than $15.
  • When asked how much the federal minimum wage should be increased by, 23% said by more than $5 dollars. That was the most popular choice, followed 19% who were in favor of a $3 increase. Almost 18% said it should stay the same.
  • If the minimum wage is increased to $15, 72% said they would increase the prices for services, while 30% would have to reduce their total labor force. 38% expect they will be able to absorb the labor cost increases.
  • In comparison, if the minimum wage increased to $11, 70% said they’d be able to absorb the costs, while 42% said they would increase prices for services. Only 9% said they would have to reduce their labor force.
  • If increased to $15, 7% said they’d close their business, while 4% said they’d do so if increased to $11.
  • A potential minimum wage increase hasn’t necessarily spurred action. Only 19% said they reached out to elected officials in the House or Senate about the issue and only 7% reached out to a state or national association.

We also received well thought out comments on the matter, which included feedback on how some companies have been preparing, and others who raised their concerns about a possible raise. For those additional thoughts, visit the web extra section on Lawn & Landscapes website at bit.ly/llminwage. – Brian Horn