While, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray continues to favor the $15 minimum wage law, as he stated, “Raising the minimum wage helps ensure more people who live and work in Seattle can share in our city’s success, and helps fight income inequality.”
A study conducted by the University of Washington on the other hand, argues: “Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly rate, we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent. Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when analyzing employment in the restaurant industry at all wage levels, comparable to many prior studies.”
“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and an author of the report told the Seattle Times. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”
Jacob Vigdor, co-author of the study stated, “The goal of this policy was to deliver higher incomes to people who were struggling to make ends meet in the city.”
“You’ve got to watch out because at some point you run the risk of harming the people you set out to help,” Vigdor added.