State With the Highest Minimum-Wage Bests National Job Growth

Critics of raising the minimum wage argue that an increase will stifle economic growth. This is not what happened in Washington state, where residents voted in 1998 to raise the state’s minimum wage.

Bloomberg: “In the 15 years that followed, the state’s minimum wage climbed to $9.32 — the highest in the country. Meanwhile job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, 0.3 percentage point above the national rate. Payrolls at Washington’s restaurants and bars, portrayed as particularly vulnerable to higher wage costs, expanded by 21 percent. Poverty has trailed the U.S. level for at least seven years.”

As the debate plays out on a national level, Washington’s example could be used by those who attest to the positive impact of a minimum wage increase on the economy.

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