Did Job Growth Plummet With an Increase in the Minimum Wage?

Danny Vinik reports on some good news about low-income wages.

“Between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institue found, the real wages of the bottom 10 percent of Americans grew 0.3 percent … The poorest workers generally see their wages stagnate, not rise. But there’s a good reason for why that trend reversed itself and it has to do with the minimum wage … In the meantime, states have raised their own minimum wagesand that has made a difference for the poorest workers.”

“In 2014, 13 states raised their minimum wages … Gould compared wage growth for the bottom 10 percent of Americans in those 13 states with the rest of America. In the former, real wages grew 0.9 percent, a non-negligible increase. In the remaining 37 states, real wages declined 0.1 percent. In other words, wage growth for the bottom 10 percent of Americans is entirely attributable to states that increased their minimum wages.”

Gould Min Wage

Conservatives oppose minimum wage increases because they claim “it will reduce job growth. So, did that happen in those 13 states? Jared Bernstein … found that job growth was higher in states that raised their minimum wages than it was in those that didn’t (1.8 percent versus 1.5 percent).”

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