Conservative group's ad hits de Blasio for $15 minimum wage proposal

bill deblasio minimum wage
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is the focus of a new attack ad for his support of a $15 minimum wage.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's push for a $15 minimum wage has put him in the cross-hairs.

The Employment Policies Institute, a conservative think tank, is running a full-page attack ad in the New York Post on Tuesday with the headline: "What's bigger than Bill de Blasio's Ego? New York's youth unemployment crisis."

The ad argues that "economic research and real-life stories make clear that [a $15 minimum wage] would be devastating for less-skilled jobseekers around the country - including the 32% of young adults in New York City who want a job and can't get hired at the current minimum wage." The ad has a picture of a young black woman.

De Blasio's press office fired back with its own attack on Richard Berman, the executive director of the group that placed the ad. Berman has a public relations and lobbying firm which has worked for the restaurant industry. De Blasio spokesman Peter Kadushin said Berman has made millions doing that work.

Related: Will Hillary Clinton support a $15 minimum wage?

"Raising the minimum wage will help create opportunity, lift New Yorkers making just $8.75 an hour out of poverty, and move New York's economy forward," said Kadushin.

The Employment Policies Institute has argued against a minimum wage of any level, and has been particularly active arguing against increases in the minimum wage that have been approved by various states and cities.

Jack Lew: Raising wages will boost economy
Jack Lew: Raising wages will boost economy

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 and hour, while New York State's is $8.75 an hour, and due to rise to $9 next year. The Obama administration is proposing a national minimum wage of $10.10 an hour, while de Blasio is pushing for a New York rate nearly 50% higher than that.

Despite the claims in the ad, there is conflicting economic research on whether or not raising the minimum wage causes unemployment to rise.

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