The study found that past year - when the minimum wage reached $13 an hour - job losses mounted and the number of hours went down in affected industries, costing the average low-wage worker about $125 a month.
However, critics of the University of Washington study suggest that the loss of hours could be contributed to the boom in Seattle's market around the time the minimum wage was raised from $11 to $13 in 2016 and possibly not the wage raise itself. Overall, the study estimates that "the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum". Many past studies, by contrast, have found that the benefits of increases for low-wage workers exceed the costs in terms of reduced employment - often by a factor of four or five to one.
Seattle has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country.
Last year, NY passed legislation that will raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2018 for nearly all businesses in the Big Apple.
McKinnish then examined the data for 2010 to 2011 after a federal minimum wage increase to $7.25 an hour prompted many states to boost their minimum wages and lessened the differences between neighboring states. The current minimum wage in Seattle ranges from $11 to $15, and unemployment is at a historically low 2.6 percent, thanks in part to the booming tech sector. "By making low-skilled workers more expensive, there is the potential for employers to use fewer workers, switch to slightly higher-skilled workers or exchange capital technology - such as self-serve kiosks - for low-skilled workers". "During a boom, which Seattle has experienced in recent years, employers bid up wages, effectively replacing low wage jobs with higher-paying ones".
The University of Washington report excludes "multisite businesses", such as large corporations, restaurants and retail stores that own their branches directly.
The elitist politicians pushing through radical minimum-wage hikes surely understand the financial jig they're asking businesses to dance. Apparently, the costs to low-wage workers outweigh the new benefits by a ratio of three to one.
"When we perform the exact same analysis as the Berkeley team, we match their results, which is inconsistent with the notion that our methods create bias", he said. The study found this increase to have minimal negative impacts, and those impacts were set off by the gains to employees. "Data is pointing to: Since we have to pay more, employers are looking for people with experience who can do the job from Day 1".
The Fight for $15 operates on the faulty assumption that businesses will simply buck up and swallow the cost of rising labor expenses - that they can, essentially, already afford to pay more but simply choose not to. Still, the researchers found Seattle's situation to be unique. Somebody give this reporter an emmy!