Seattle raised its minimum wage from $9.47/hour to $11/hour in 2015 and $13/hour in 2016. While the first increase had minimal employment impact, the second damaged low-wage workers. At $13/hour, the number of low-wage hours worked declined by a whopping 9%, while wages rose just 3%. As a result, low-wage worker income fell on average by $125/week! Small increases are manageable, large increases incentivize employers to bypass low-wage employees.

Elliot F. Eisenberg,

Ph.D. GraphsandLaughs, LLC