Seattle Hiked The Minimum Wage – And Guess What Happened?

File this one under ‘D’ for ‘Duh.’

A new study that even the left-leaning Washington Post has dubbed ‘very credible,’ has shown that by boosting the minimum wage to ridiculous amounts for low-income workers, Seattle officials have made things much worse.

Specifically, payrolls have been cut, new hiring has been suspended, hours have been reduced, and jobs have been lost.

Who saw that coming? Besides everybody who’s ever taken an Economics 101 course?

Via the Washington Post:

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city.

The very same low-income workers the minimum wage advocates were trying to help, have actually reduced their income at an annual rate of $1,500.

That is a highly significant amount of money in our estimation.

NBER: $13 minimum wage in Seattle LOWERED average low-wage employee pay 6.6 percent.

— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 26, 2017


The report indicates that “total payroll fell for (low-wage) jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016.”


Any economist worth their salt tried to warn the ‘Fight for $15’ crowd that their idealistic notions would not pan out in the real world. Now there is proof.

The increase led to steep declines in employment, and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs.

— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) June 26, 2017


Small-business owners have long warned that minimum wage hikes will suppress job creation, will lead to fewer hours for current employees, and will result in an increase in costs for consumers.

This ad from EPI shows the predictable consequence of a $15 minimum wage for fast-food restaurants: Touch-screen ordering systems that replace employees.


As Ben Shapiro at Daily Wire writes, and this study proves, “Government intervention isn’t the answer to the free market.”

“The free market is.”

Are you surprised that raising the minimum wage leads to a loss of hours and less income? Share your thoughts below!

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