You know how a lot of people opposed to raising the minimum wage said it would totally destroy the American capitalist system? Turns out, raising the minimum wage hasn’t screwed anything up too badly in the states where it’s been instated.
Critics of raising the minimum wage claimed that it would cause unemployment to rise because businesses would hire fewer employees if they had to pay each employee more than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. But it turns out, employment actually rose by an average of 0.28 percent in the 13 states that rose the minimum wage in the beginning of 2014.
Rhode Island, Colorado, Montana, Vermont, Arizona, Oregon, Florida, Washington, Ohio and New York boasted both higher baseline wages and a boost in employment, while West Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut saw no changes or a slight dip, but nothing too scary.
Director of domestic policy Nicole Woo and domestic program intern Jeffrey Gianattasio wrote, “Not only do we fail to find any evidence that minimum wage increases hurt state employment, we actually find the opposite. This exercise is far from definitive, but there is no obvious sign that a higher minimum wage is a ‘job killer.’”
Indeed, it’s a pretty smart move when you consider the numbers: Only about 3 percent of American employees work for the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, and that amounts to $15,080 a year … which is far below the poverty line of $22,282 for a family of four.
Still, the findings are only based on about two months of data, so more work needs to be done. Hopefully for more than minimum wage.