Study: Minimum wage critics “cried wolf”

Opponents of raising the minimum wage love to crow about how raising the pay for working Americans would cost the economy jobs. Surprise, surprise — another new study shows that they’re just plain wrong.

“The fact that jobs usually go up, not down, after a minimum wage increase reveals how predictions that raises will cost jobs are rooted in ideology, not evidence,” said Paul Sonn, general counsel at the National Employment Law Project, one of the authors of the brief.

To get to this conclusion, the NELP looked at each of the 22 times federal minimum wage went up between 1938 and 2009, and then checked the indicators one year later. They saw that in the substantial majority of cases, employment improved after Congress raised the wage.

The brief also found that for retail and hospitality jobs (the fastest growing sectors for employment right now) employment rates improved even more consistently after a federal minimum wage increase.

These findings go hand-in-hand with a number of other studies that show that whether the minimum wage is increased or not has no real impact on employment rates. So given that’s the case, it’s time that we have a $15 minimum wage everywhere: no one who works full time should ever have to live in poverty. No more excuses.