Last year, Seattle became the first city to pass into law a minimum wage of 15 dollars per hour. Everyone on the right was screaming bloody murder. It will destroy jobs, they said. It will cause all the businesses to close, they said. This will be the worst thing since the days before toilet paper existed, they said. Your freedom will be lost. Prepare for socialist microchips and chemtrails.
Complete ignorance was paid to the actual historical trend data, and most
conservative and business corporate apologist opinion news sources focused on cherry picked situations where a handful of restaurants closed, saying it had to be because of the 15 dollar minimum wage. Nothing could be further from reality.
Mark Perry recently published this article, for AEI, indicating that in the first half of 2015, Seattle restaurants had their single greatest job loss numbers since the Great Recession. The article got a lot of press and was used to induce a bit of a panic among some about the idea of a raising minimum wage.
Practically every alarmist article promising crushing job losses about a higher minimum wage is a complete lie. When regular people have more money to spend, it creates a demand for work to meet increased consumption.
The fact is that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is now reporting that restaurants in Seattle have just posted their largest overall jobs gain in recorded history. Two-thousand, five-hundred jobs were added in the last month, and there was a two-month gain of 3,700 jobs total.
Here are some facts:
- The minimum wage in Seattle is not even 15 dollars per hour currently. It is 11 dollars an hour.
- The earliest there will be a 15 dollar minimum wage in any form in Seattle, is Jan. 1, 2017.
- The minimum wage in Washington state before this passed was $9.47, which only happened in January of 2015.
This is less than a 2 dollar raise per employee per hour. This means that an employer would pay approximately $12.25 per day, per employee, more in wages. Any business that is running on such a slim margin that it cannot manage this incredibly marginal increase in pay is simply doing it wrong. Even if you, as a business owner, were to put all of the cost into increasing prices, the actual increase per items would be virtually unnoticeable to your average customer. A restaurant where a person buys two to three things per visit could put literally a few pennies on each item and recoup this cost immediately, and no customers would suddenly boycott them over higher prices.
You can see full details on the wage schedule here. Share this with anyone who cites propagandist articles about how people making a living wage will destroy America.
Featured image via WikiMedia