Thursday, February 01, 2007

Here's something I found on one of those fancy economic websites

There is no evidence of job loss from the last minimum wage increase.
- A 1998 EPI study failed to find any systematic, significant job loss associated with the 1996-97 minimum wage increase. In fact, following the most recent increase in the minimum wage in 1996-97, the low-wage labor market performed better than it had in decades (e.g., lower unemployment rates, increased average hourly wages, increased family income, decreased poverty rates).
- Studies of the 1990-91 federal minimum wage increase, as well as studies by David Card and Alan Krueger of several state minimum wage increases, also found no measurable negative impact on employment.
- New economic models that look specifically at low-wage labor markets help explain why there is little evidence of job loss associated with minimum wage increases. These models recognize that employers may be able to absorb some of the costs of a wage increase through higher productivity, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased worker morale.
- A recent Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) study of state minimum wages found no evidence of negative employment effects on small businesses.
So I think those of you worried about small businesses or (much, much, less credibly) about increasing unemployment among the poor, can relax.

PS: I think it's touching that so many Republicans morph into Cesar Chavez whenever we discuss raising the min wage ["It'll be bad for the poor! Oh, the poor! We musn't hurt the poor!"], but I don' t think their transformation is perfectly sincere. Forgive me.

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