Raising the minimum wage does not kill jobs, no matter what Republicans tell youâ€”andÂ a new study of the Seattle restaurant industry, where some businesses are already paying a $15 minimum wage, provides another data point showing just that. According to the University of California, Berkeley, study, the increased minimum wage had employment effects that were â€śnot statistically distinguishable from zero,â€ť which is a fancy way of saying â€śwe looked and we could not find a damn thing.â€ť TheÂ Seattle TimesÂ reports:
Indeed, employment in food service from 2015 to 2016 was not affected, â€śeven among the limited-service restaurants, many of them franchisees, for whom the policy was most binding,â€ť according toÂ the study, led by Berkeley economics professor Michael Reich. […]
It can be hard to separate what impact the wage law had on employment in Seattle versus the effect of the cityâ€™s white-hot economy andÂ tight labor market,Â but â€śwe do our best,â€ť Reich said.
The study compares the wage and employment growth rates in Seattle to a control group of counties, in Washington state and across the U.S., that had similar growth rates as Seattle in the years shortly before the minimum-wage law took effect.
A report issuedÂ last year found indications that the increased minimum wage did slightly restrict job growth, but we donâ€™t know if the difference comes from differing methodologies or from the studies covering different time frames. Both studies have to contend with Seattleâ€™s booming economy, which could conceivably mask lowered growth of the job rate for low-wage workers â€¦Â but which itself refutes the Republican talking points against raising the minimum wage. Because â€śitâ€™s hard to tell if evenÂ more low-wage workers would otherwise be employed because the economy is so darn goodâ€ť does not exactly back up claims that having the minimum wage be a living wage will destroy the economy.