For the last couple of years we’ve been hearing the incessant drone by liberals wanting the minimum wage increased to $15 dollars an hour. They claim that workers can’t earn a living on less money, but the whole point of minimum wage jobs was to provide low-wage jobs to people with low marketable skills. From there, those workers would gain more skills and thereby be promoted and make more money along the way.
Minimum wage wasn’t ever intended to be a lifestyle commitment, just a hand up for people waiting for better opportunities to come along, or taking time to develop new skills.
Now that socialist enclaves like Seattle, Washington have moved to increase the minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour, the economic repercussions have not been as positive as proponents had hoped. In fact, they have even been rather deleterious, as a new study has shown.
From Hot Air:
Seattle led the way for imposing dramatic increases in the minimum wage to $15 per hour over a span of a few years arguing that it would lift the fortunes of low-wage earners. Several cities and states have followed suit, including Los Angeles, as its main daily notes today while reporting on a study that calls that assumption into serious question. It turns out that low-wage earners might be getting the shaft rather than an elevator:
“A much-anticipated study released Monday by a team of researchers at the University of Washington is likely to intensify that controversy — just as Los Angeles heads toward its own minimum-wage increase for large businesses, from $10.50 an hour to $12 an hour on July 1.
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.”
Opponents of the minimum-wage hikes argued all along that the imposition of artificial extra costs to labor would have significant and unplanned consequences, among them a consolidation of jobs and hours offered, more automation to replace low-skill labor, and a shift away from inexperienced applicants in favor of more skilled workers.
According to the study, that’s precisely what happened in Seattle:
Our preferred estimates suggest that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance caused hours worked by low-skilled workers (i.e., those earning under $19 per hour) to fall by 9.4% during the three quarters when the minimum wage was $13 per hour, resulting in a loss of 3.5 million hours worked per calendar quarter. Alternative estimates show the number of low-wage jobs declined by 6.8%, which represents a loss of more than 5,000 jobs.
What it all boils down to is employers were forced to cut the hours of the higher paid employees or face losing necessary profits they needed to stay in business. Now, employers will look for ways to automate the work and eliminate the jobs, putting more unskilled people out of work and earning no income at all.
It is time for liberals in Seattle to admit their mistake and let employers do what they do best – hire workers on their terms.
Source: Hot Air