Minimum Wage Hike Leaves Seattle Workers Worse Off

It has been suggested by many, including presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, that a compulsory minimum wage hike is the answer for those who are struggling to climb the economic ladder. Yet workers in Seattle had less money in their pockets after the city's minimum wage was raised from $9.47 to $11 an hour, not more. 

In her latest blog, IWF's Charlotte Hays points to recent articles in Hot Air and the Washington Post to explain how a higher mandatory wage caused workers to lose money:

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.

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. 

Sadly, this is yet another example of how minimum wage hikes lead to fewer job opportunities and reduced hours for workers, especially harming those it's intended to help. Please click on the social media icons below to share Charlotte's blog with your friends and family. 

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