Seattle workers are the latest to lose income because of a minimum wage hike.
Yes, you read that right.
Hot Air has an excellent post on a Washington Post story that suggests that Seattle workers actually lost money after the minimum wage was hiked. You have to have a subscription to get the Post story, but fortunately Hot Air quotes from it:
Things seem to be going pretty well since Seattle bumped the hourly minimum wage for large businesses up to $11 last year, from the statewide minimum of $9.47 an hour. Low-wage workers are getting more time on the job and making more money. Fewer businesses are closing, and more new ones are opening. The technology and construction sectors are booming. Even the weather cooperated for a change. The spring was unusually dry in Seattle, which was good for the city’s fishing fleet.
Yet the actual benefits to workers might have been minimal, according to a group of economists whom the city commissioned to study the minimum wage and who presented their initial findings last week.
The average hourly wage for workers affected by the increase jumped from $9.96 to $11.14, but wages likely would have increased some anyway due to Seattle’s overall economy. Meanwhile, although workers were earning more, fewer of them had a job than would have without an increase. Those who did work had fewer hours than they would have without the wage hike.
Accounting for these factors, the average increase in total earnings due to the minimum wage was small, the researchers concluded. Using their preferred method, they calculated that workers’ earnings increased by $5.54 a week on average because of the minimum wage. Using other methods, the researchers found that the minimum wage hike actually caused total weekly earnings to drop — by as much as $5.22 a week.
Ed Morrissey explains:
The continual push for minimum-wage hikes flies in the face of all evidence, and of all results. If this policy were effective, we wouldn’t need to keep raising the level of pay; we would have solved poverty decades ago. It’s wishcasting at best, and it’s destructive political pandering at worst — and as we see in Seattle, usually it’s the worst.
And yet–hiking the minimum wage will be a rallying cry for Democrats this year (and, inexplicably, GOP candidate Donald Trump now says he favors a hike in the minimum wage, albeit a more modest one).