Despite new facts from a recent study from the University of Washington (UW) proving Seattle’s minimum wage hike had a negative impact on low-wage workers, another city is marching forward with their own #FightFor15 law.
Minneapolis’ City Council will finalize their vote on Friday to increase their minimum wage to $15, according to the StarTribune. Small businesses would have until 2024, while businesses with more than 100 workers have only until 2022.
What impact will this increase have on the city’s most vulnerable workers?
The UW study on the impacts in Seattle is clear:
“We conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent. Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016.”
Nine percent fewer hours worked for low-wage employees. $125 less per month. The politicians who back the #FightFor15 in cities like Minneapolis, San Fransisco, San Diego, and Seattle seem to have no problem hurting these workers in order for them to gain political points with the progressive base.
Some say the benefits to those who get the higher wage are worth these costs. The left-leaning data site FiveThirtyEight admitted this week, “Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far.” Unfortunately, most Democrats leading these efforts are in complete denial that there are any negative consequences at all.
But the evidence goes well beyond one study.
Harvard’s recent analysis showed California’s minimum wage hikes have led to massive restaurant closures, saying, “We find suggestive evidence that a higher minimum wage leads to overall increases in restaurant exit rates.” Lynn Reaser, chief economist at the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University, estimates San Diego’s minimum wage hike has already killed 4,000 jobs. American Action Forum’s research shows Illinois’ bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 would kill 328,000 jobs. These changes have led the major restaurant chains to install kiosks.
These are serious data points, and they shouldn’t be ignored. While polls generally support minimum wage increases, leaders in cities have to get beyond the politics and do what’s best to empower the maximum amount of their constituents.