Mid-Year Minimum Wage Hikes Hit As Evidence of Negative Consequences Piles Up

  • Publication Date: June 2019

  • Topics: Living Wage

22 states and localities will raise wages on July 1st

Washington, D.C. – Today, The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is highlighting the 22 minimum wage increases occurring on Monday, July 1st, 2019. These increases include two states, the District of Columbia, and 19 other localities that have the potential to cause job losses and business closures across the nation. You can view the full list of increases here or in the below table.

Evidence shows minimum wage hikes can have negative consequences, including a reduction in employee hours, lost job opportunities, or even business closures. The evidence is overwhelming and includes the following recent examples:

  • After enacting a $15 minimum wage, the city of Emeryville, California announced that it would halt a wage increase planned for this summer for full-service restaurants after a city-sponsored study identified widespread job losses and business closures.
  • New York City lost roughly 6,000 jobs last year as a direct result of the state and city’s rapidly rising minimum and tipped minimum wage.
  • Researchers from UC Riverside found that California’s minimum wage increases have contributed to a decline in restaurant growth. For high-income regions such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the full-service restaurant industry will have created 30,000 fewer jobs between 2017 to 2022 as a consequence of a rapidly-rising minimum wage without a tip credit.
  • According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has also forced many childcare centers to hike tuition costs, slash staff hours, and cut staff benefits or professional development investments.

EPI has been chronicling the consequences of dramatic minimum wage increases at Facesof15.com. The site now includes over 160 stories of job loss, reduced hours, and other consequences as a direct result of minimum wage increases.

Another potential unintended consequence of minimum wage hikes is a reduction in teen employment opportunities. Read EPI communications director’s recent op-ed highlighting the role mandated wage increases play in the decline of teen labor force participation rate.

EPI’s communications director Samantha Summers released the following statement:

“Employees and business owners will suffer yet again thanks to the consequences of higher wage mandates. Multiple studies and anecdotal evidence show that wage hikes continually reduce workplace opportunities by reducing employee hours worked, the number of jobs available, or even forcing businesses to close.”