Ignoring the ConsequencesOn Oct 2, 2015 Latest updates
While SEIU continues to advocate for $15-an-hour minimum wages across the country, a new report has just been released that shows that the minimum wage hike in Seattle is already killing restaurant jobs – and Seattle’s minimum wage, though on its way to $15 an hour, currently stands at $11.
According to a report released Sunday by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the $15 minimum wage has caused Seattle restaurants to lose 1,000 jobs — the worst decline since the 2009 Great Recession.
“The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession,” AEI Scholar Mark J. Perry noted in the report.
The citywide minimum wage increase was passed in June of last year. The measure is designed to increase the city minimum wage gradually to $15 an hour by 2017. The first increase under the plan was to $11 an hour in April. According to the report, Seattle restaurants have already faced severe consequences as a result. In contrast, in the six years since the 2009 financial crisis, the industry has been recovering in areas without the $15 minimum wage.
“Restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period,” the report also noted. “Restaurant employment in Washington increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs.”