A boost for Pa.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry sheds crocodile tears for low-wage workers every time the minimum wage comes up ("Raises will cost jobs," Thursday).

Studies have found that there is no negative impact on jobs following modest increases in the minimum wage; the Congressional Budget Office estimates a range of "a very slight reduction" to

one million jobs lost nationally with a minimum-wage increase to $10.10 an hour.

However, such an increase would mean:

More than 1.2 million workers in Pennsylvania would receive raises;

$1.9 billion in new wages would go into the state economy;

$225 million in new revenues would be generated for the state budget, which is in great need of funds to support our schools and close massive deficits.

Where is the chamber's concern for the working poor when increased funding for child care, paid sick time, adequate unemployment benefits, and paid maternity leave are considered? Its goal is to keep wages down to increase profits for big corporations, not to protect low-wage workers.

|John Dodds, director, Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Philadelphia,