Reprinted from The Los Angeles Times by David Dayen on January 5, 2017.
Eighteen states and nineteen cities increased their minimum wages on January 1, raising salaries for an estimated 4.5 million US workers. California’s minimum jumped fifty cents to $10.50 an hour for smaller employers and $11 an hour for companies with more than 26 employees.
An unspoken convention of policy reporting dictates that you cannot mention this fact without also giving space to the business community’s insistence that low-end wage hikes destroy jobs. The actual analysis of that question is not that mixed, however.
The classic 1994 study from Alan Krueger and Andrew Card, looking at counties along the Pennsylvania and New Jersey borders after the Keystone State didn’t raise its wage and the Garden State did, found no correlation between wage hikes and job loss, and if anything a small job increase on the New Jersey side. …