Study: Seattle $15 Minimum Wage Leading to Fewer Hours, Fewer Jobs

IBD quotes the Washington Post on the study:

In comments that sounded as if they came straight out of an Econ 101 text, the Post concluded that "Increasing the minimum wage increases the costs of hiring workers. As a result, employers must accept reduced margins or customers must pay steeper prices. If employers cannot stay in business while paying their staff more, they will either hire fewer people or give their workers fewer hours. As a result, even if wages per hour increase workers' total earning could decline."

Dead on. That's exactly what happened. And as University of Washington economist Jacob Vigdor, one of the authors of the Seattle study, noted, some businesses simply avoid paying the minimum-wage tax altogether by automating and letting low-end, unskilled workers go — as is now happening in some fast-food chains and at supermarkets.

Note that this is only the first incremental increase in the wage -- from $9.50 to $11 an hour. It won't be until 2020 when the full force of the increase in minimum wage will be felt. Between now and then, businesses will do what they have to to survive: employ fewer workers, raise prices, or get out of town.

None of this bodes well for the poor or lower middle class who need these jobs to gain valuable experience. Unfortunately, by the time the wage is fully adopted, there probably won't be many minimum wage jobs to be had.

Cities and states that haven't joined in the "fight for 15" movement may want to slow down and examine the data in this study before rushing ahead.