UW professor explains criticized minimum wage study

Adjust Comment Print

Traditional economics suggested this would be a bad idea, if you charge more for something then people want less of it. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) countered in a separate study that the findings are questionable.

Importantly, the lost income associated with the hours reductions exceeds the gain associated with the net wage increase of 3.1%.

So yeah, on the one hand, you have science showing that minimum wage increases hurt those they're trying to help; on the other, Keanu Reeves-mimicking science deniers.

And Jillian Henze, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Restaurant Alliance, added: "We think the U.W. study needs to be taken seriously by the city because the data echoes the anecdotes we've been hearing". They argue that total employment numbers are not revealing because the number of low-wage workers is too small to show up in the data, especially in Seattle, where an economic boom increased the demand for skilled workers. It reached $13 per hour past year. There would be about 5,000 more low-wage jobs in the city without the law, the study estimated.in the years covered by the study, 2015 and 2016, the minimum wage was at most $13, depending on business size, worker benefits and tips.

A study commissioned by Seattle's city council just came back with results they didn't want to hear: Their efforts to raise wages of the city's lowest-paid workers are instead costing them about $125 a month. Many variables affect what a company pays workers and in a healthy economy those effects are less pronounced. This suggests the higher wage caused most harm to workers with the least experience and skills.

Whenever the Left pushes for sharp increases in the minimum wage (which has intrinsic populist appeal and tends to poll well), conservatives argue that such plans would kill jobs, stifle entry-level opportunities, and end up hurting numerous very people it was ostensibly meant to help.

At this point, it's not clear that there really is early evidence of "some effects", one Los Angeles Times reporter wrote about Seattle's minimum wage, as opposed to flawed statistics that can be massaged to show it.

Seattle locals have their own take on how the $15 wage is working out.

It found that wages in Seattle's food services sector have increased and employment hasn't been affected since the minimum wage ordinance went into effect in 2015. Some argue it subsidizes employers who underpay workers.

Nevertheless, the wage hike has made a big difference in some people's lives. It also targets the most needy: low earners who are supporting families, instead of teenagers who live with their parents.

Down the line, there's the question of how these studies affect the national debate over the minimum wage. Yet other executives in the fast-food business, including Andy Puzder, President Trump's first nominee for Labor secretary, say the industry is headed in that direction in part to keep labor costs down.

Comments