Study of Seattle’s $15 minimum wage reports it costs jobs
SEATTLE | Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law has cost the city jobs, according to a study released Monday that contradicts another study published last week.
A University of Washington team studying the law’s effects found that the law has boosted pay in low-wage jobs since it took effect in 2015, but that it also caused a 9 percent reduction in hours worked, The Seattle Times reported. For an average low-wage Seattle worker, that’s a loss of about $125
per month, the study said.
“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” said Mark Long, one of the authors. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”
There would be about 5,000 more low-wage jobs in the city without the law, the study estimated.
Seattle was one of the first U.S. cities to adopt a $15 minimum wage law, and its experience is being closely watched as other cities have followed suit and as advocates push for a higher federal minimum wage.