It’s been over two years since the Seattle City Council voted to instate a $15 minimum wage, which will be implemented in gradual phases until 2017. Since that time several states and cities have followed through with their own generous minimum wage hikes. Unfortunately they may regret that decision, since the latest data shows that at best, these higher legal wages haven’t really helped workers at all.
According to a group of economists who were hired by the city to figure out what effects the wage hike has had on workers, the average hourly wage for effected workers has bumped up from $9.96 to $11.14, but that would have likely happened anyway since Seattle’s economy was already rapidly improving. They also found that while some workers were earning more, fewer people have jobs, and those who are working have fewer hours.
Using the most favorable statistical formulas, the researchers found that at best, workers are now earning an average of $5.54 more per week. When they used other formulas, workers were earning an average of $5.22 less per week.
And none of this takes into account how much more businesses have to spend on their workers. They still have to raise costs, which are passed on to the consumer, and result in a higher cost of living that would nullify any benefits of a minimum wage hike.
Keep in mind, that these numbers were established by a team of economists who were hired by the city. They may be a little biased in favor of the minimum wage, and what they’re telling us is probably the absolute best case scenario. Can you image how bad it could really be in Seattle?
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.