There has been a major push for an increased minimum wage nationwide, as the cost of living has grown greatly while wages have stagnated. The effort has been embraced by worker’s rights advocates and labor groups, and met with great hostility by most of the business community. Even president Obama has come out in favor of raising the federal minimum wage — which currently sits at $7.25 per hour — up to $10.10. This too has been met with clamoring and fear-mongering from most of the conservative wing, who claims that any increases in wages will destroy jobs and wreck the economy.
According to a study from The Center for Economic and Policy Research, however, that hypothesis has been debunked.
The study followed 13 states which saw their minimum wages increased at the start of 2014, either through legislation or automatic increases that are tied to inflation. The results were surprising, to say the least. Every state, with the exception of one, saw increases in employment — and they didn’t just see an increase, they all beat the nationwide average.
“Of the 13 states that increased their minimum wage in early 2014, all but one (New Jersey) are seeing employment gains. Furthermore, nine of the remaining 12 states are above the median for this period. The average change in employment for the 13 states that increased their minimum wage is +0.99% while the remaining states have an average employment change of +0.68%,” the CEPR says.
The results are very promising for those looking to increase minimum wage levels locally, and could make for some interesting business and economic developments going forward.