Seattle has been among the handful of liberal cities that have hopped on the “Fight for Fifteen” bandwagon, voting to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour by January 2021 for firms with fewer than 500 employees. Those with more than 500 employees have had the $15 an hour in effect since January 1st of this year. After those firms with fewer than 500 employees are subject to the $15 an hour minimum wage in 2021, they’ll see $0.75 tacked on to the $15 every year going forward until 2024.And what have the results been? Common sense tells us when you make something more expensive you get less of it (hence why liberals want to tax junk food so people eat less of it), and when you make something cheaper you get more of it (hence why liberals want to subsidize solar power).
A new study by economists at the University of Washington studied the effects of Seattle’s minimum wage hikes last year after the minimum wage was raised to $13 an hour. And according to the Los Angeles Times, the new study has found that jobs and work hours fell for Seattle’s lowest paid employees after the city raised the minimum wage to $13 last year.
The analysis shows that jobs and hours for those workers declined faster in Seattle than in surrounding control areas, where the minimum wage did not increase.
Washington is one of only four states that actually track how many hours each employee works, allowing researchers to identify exactly which workers are paid the lowest hourly wage and how their pay and employment opportunities changed.Studies of wage hikes in other states and cities have instead focused on broad industries, like restaurants, that tend to pay low wages, or on teenagers, who tend to earn small paychecks.
Low-wage workers in Seattle — people earning less than $19 an hour — saw their hours decrease by about 9 percent from 2014 to 2016, compared with the surrounding control area, the study found. The number of low-wage jobs overall declined by nearly 7 percent relative to the control group.
It should be noted that this is despite the fact that when it comes to Seattle, a dollar isn’t a dollar.In other words, the cost of living in Seattle is 45 percent above the national average. A $15 minimum wage in Seattle would be the equivalent of around a $10 minimum wage in the average state, meaning that a $15 minimum wage in your typical state would be even more disastrous than it has been in Seattle.
Will liberals learn their lesson from this? Of course not. It’s only a matter of time until we see a campaign for a $20 minimum wage.[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. He is a co-author of the new book A Paradoxical Alliance: Islam and the Left, and can be found on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]