Seattle’s experiment with the $15 minimum wage results in greater poverty, unemployment

Three years ago, the city of Seattle voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour.

As usual, government-trusters promised that the minimum-wage increase would lift the poor out of poverty.

But a new study by the University of Washington’s School of Public Policy and Governance finds the opposite.

The study concludes that there are now 5,000 fewer low-wage jobs in Seattle, and that total hours of low-wage workers have been cut by around 9 percent. Thus, low-wage workers in the city are now poorer than they were before the imposition of the $15 minimum wage law.

The minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016.


The Seattle Weekly’s Daniel Person reported that “The City Knew the Bad Minimum Wage Report Was Coming Out, So It Called Up Berkeley,” with quotes from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s spokesperson indicating that the Mayor’s office was aware that University of Washington’s report would not have favorable results for minimum wage increase advocates.

Astoundingly the mayor and City Council tried to preempt the release of the study by commissioning a “study” by more-government-friendly ‘economists’ at UC-Berkeley that showed the minimum wage increase improved the economy.

Meanwhile the NY Post reports that “The Empire State lost 1,000 restaurants last year” after New York enacted a $12 an hour minimum wage. See here.
Last year, San Diego’s recent experiment with requiring a $15 minimum wage also caused massive job losses, business failures, and increased poverty. See here.

D.C.’s recent minimum-wage hike caused an immediate loss of 3 percent of restaurant jobs. See here.