A study by the University of Washington took a different approach to looking at the impact of minimum wage increases on work hours. Past research, which looked at whole industries instead of just minimum wage jobs, showed that increases had no negative impact.
The University of Washington decided to look only at what happened to the hours of minimum wage workers when the wage increases. “Those low-wage workers saw a 9 percent decrease in hours, even as the minimum wage increased by 3 percent to $13 per hour in Seattle,” reports The Daily Caller.
That decrease had a significant impact on low-income workers in Seattle. Even with a $13 wage, the study found the average worker had actually lost $125 in income as compared to before the wage increase—when they were making $11 an hour.
The study found confirmed the common—and common sense—fear that employers would be forced to cut hours to be able to afford the increased overhead.
“Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016,” explains the study.
Seattle has plans to hike the wage even further to $15 an hour, but this study shows that it might not be a good idea if they are trying to help lower income workers.