Seattle Minimum Wage Experiment is Over

@TBPInvictus here:

In light of a recent monthly release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), time for a quick trip to the glorious pacific northwest and the Seattle, WA area to revisit what’s been happening there in the wake of that city’s rising minimum wage.

You may recall that even prior to Seattle’s minimum wage law being enacted, we were treated to a nonstop barrage of what the deleterious effects were going to be. In fact, claims were made that those effects were in evidence prior to the law even being enacted:

 

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That was but one of many, many pieces, built on nothing but ideology, that warned of the perils of raising the minimum wage. That it simply can’t work because the immutable laws of economics tell us that if the price of something goes up, the demand for that thing must fall.

So, almost two years later, how are things working out?

Well, in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division (MD), comprised of King and Snohomish Counties, BLS just reported (on November 30) this:

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Now, as good as that news is (and it’s pretty impressive), it does represent a two county area and not just the city of Seattle proper. Some may recall that in many of his pieces on Seattle, Mark Perry very inappropriately used the even larger three-county Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), and I called him out on that.

Well, as luck would have it, we can actually drill down to the city of Seattle proper and take a look at its unemployment rate (among other things). So, how’s Seattle faring?

 

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The unemployment rate in the city of Seattle – the tip of the spear when it comes to minimum wage experiments – has now hit a new cycle low of 3.4%, as the city continues to thrive. I’m not sure what else there is to say at this point. The doomsayers were wrong. The sky has not fallen. The restaurant business, by all accounts, is booming (in fact, probably reaching a saturation point when one looks at eateries per capita). I think it’s safe to say we’ve got enough data – over almost two years now – to declare that Seattle has not suffered adverse consequences from its increases in the minimum wage, and has certainly not experienced the dire effects foretold by the anti-min wage crowd.

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  1. What I’m Reading – Matt Franz commented on Dec 1

    […] Seattle Minimum Wage Experiment is Over (Barry Ritholtz) The unemployment rate in the city of Seattle – the tip of the spear when it comes to minimum wage experiments – has now hit a new cycle low of 3.4%, as the city continues to thrive… I think it’s safe to say we’ve got enough data – over almost two years now – to declare that Seattle has not suffered adverse consequences from its increases in the minimum wage, and has certainly not experienced the dire effects foretold by the anti-min wage crowd. […]

  2. News from the homeland commented on Dec 2

    […] Minnesota is a fairly liberal state, but Washington, especially western Washington, is where I’m from and where my heart is*. It’s good to see that Seattle is maintaining a tradition of liberal empiricism: they raised the minimum wage there a few years ago, against conservative howling that it would destroy the local economy. They’ve now acquired enough data to test that prediction, and guess what? The conservatives were full of it. […]

  3. Christmas Sale | Vestact – Money with a dash of funny commented on Dec 7

    […] The minimum wage debate is something we are having in South Africa at the moment. Seattle has a different workforce composition to that of South Africa and a different growth rate but this is interesting data none the less – Seattle Minimum Wage Experiment is Over. […]

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