mcloudyn.png
Friday August 23rd, 2019 12:43AM

New study of Seattle's $15 minimum wage says it costs jobs

By The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage law has cost the city jobs, according to a study released Monday that contradicted another new 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 (https://goo.gl/G1Vr64 ). 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.

The city's law is raising the minimum to $15 for all businesses by 2021.

In the years covered by the study, 2015 and 2016, the minimum wage was at most $13, depending on business size, worker benefits and tips. The current minimum wage in Seattle ranges from $11 to $15, and unemployment is at a historically low 2.6 percent, thanks in part to the booming tech sector. Seattle has added about 40,000 jobs overall in the last few years.

Last week, a review by University of California at Berkeley economists found the law raised pay without hurting jobs in the restaurant industry. An author of that report, Michael Reich, criticized the University of Washington team's methodology.

The University of Washington effort compared economic data from Seattle with economic data from other parts of Washington state — a statistical model referred to as "synthetic Seattle" — for which economic trend lines were previously similar to Seattle. By comparing the "synthetic Seattle" where no minimum wage increase took effect with Seattle itself, the researchers tried to figure out the minimum wage law's effect on Seattle's economy.

But Reich took issue with how University of Washington team compiled its "synthetic Seattle." It was based on areas that "do not at all resemble Seattle," Reich warned in a letter to the city Monday .

By contrast, the Berkeley study compared Seattle to a statistical model based on areas around the country — not just within the state — and was thus a "more representative" comparison, he said.

The University of Washington report excludes "multisite businesses," such as large corporations, restaurants and retail stores that own their branches directly. Single-site businesses, though — which are counted in the report — could include franchise locations that are owned separately from their corporate headquarters.

Reich said multisite businesses employ a large percentage of Seattle's low-paid workers. That meant workers who left single-site businesses to work at multisite businesses were counted as job losses, not job gains in the UW study, he said.

Jacob Vigdor, a public policy professor and one of the authors of the new report, stood by the team's findings. He noted that his team's study actually corroborated Berkeley's conclusion, finding zero impact from the minimum-wage law on restaurant employment — when taking into account jobs at all wage levels within the restaurant industry.

But for low-wage restaurant workers, the law cost them work hours, the new report said. If the minimum wage law hadn't been in effect, those workers would have seen an 11 percent increase in their hours, the report said.

"When we perform the exact same analysis as the Berkeley team, we match their results, which is inconsistent with the notion that our methods create bias," he said.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Supreme Court rules for Missouri church in playground case
The Supreme Court has ruled that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other non-religious needs
11:14AM ( 5 minutes ago )
'Pharma Bro' defies advice to keep quiet before fraud trial
Securities fraud trial begins for former pharmaceutical CEO who became known for raising the cost of a life-saving medication 5,000 percent
11:12AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Joe Arpaio on trial over immigration actions echoing Trump's
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is going on trial in Phoenix on a criminal charge stemming from immigration enforcement actions that are similar to the rhetoric and crackdowns pushed by President Donald Trump
11:08AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump eager for big meeting with Putin; some advisers wary
President Donald Trump is eager to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin with full diplomatic bells and whistles when the two are in Germany for a multinational summit next month
10:38AM ( 41 minutes ago )
15 still missing after tourist boat sinks in Colombia
Scuba divers continued Monday searching for bodies in a reservoir near the Colombian city of Medellin where a tourist boat packed with more than 150 passengers for the holiday weekend capsized,
10:24AM ( 55 minutes ago )
The Latest: UK leader tries to ease anxiety over Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May has provided additional details for proposed treatment of European Union citizens living in Britain once Brexit takes effect
9:55AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Remy Ma beats Nicki Minaj at BET Awards; '90s R&B shines
Remy Ma has ended rival Nicki Minaj's seven-year winning streak at the 2017 BET Awards, a show highlighted by '90s R&B and groups popular in that decade
5:07AM ( 6 hours ago )
Gay pride parades sound a note of resistance _ and face some
Tens of thousands of people waving rainbow flags are lining the streets for gay pride parades in coast-to-coast events. Some celebrations this year are taking political tones in reaction to what some see as new threats to gay rights in the Trump era.
10:16PM ( 13 hours ago )
Man catches teen falling from park ride: 'It's OK to let go'
Officials: Crowd catches teenage girl falling from gondola ride at upstate New York amusement park; no serious injuries reported
8:26PM ( 14 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Toll from oil tanker fire in Pakistan climbs to 157
Pakistan death toll from massive fuel truck fire rises to 157; many still in critical condition
10:47AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Personal chemistry key as Trump meets India PM for 1st time
"America First" vs. "Make in India": Trump's meeting with India's prime minister could be strained when it comes to trade
10:29AM ( 51 minutes ago )
Rhino breeder in South Africa plans online auction of horn
A rhino breeder in South Africa plans an online auction of rhino horn, capitalizing on a court ruling that opened the way to domestic trade despite an international ban
8:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
German economic strength gives European markets a lift
Global stock markets have risen after Wall Street rebounded from losses to end the week higher on stronger oil and gas prices
8:27AM ( 2 hours ago )
Global markets higher after Wall Street rebound
Global stock markets have risen after Wall Street rebounded from losses to end the week higher on stronger oil and gas prices
5:32AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top Republican to press for $705 billion defense budget
A powerful House Republican is set to press his case for $705 billion in military spending next year
4:50AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
'Pharma Bro' defies advice to keep quiet before fraud trial
Securities fraud trial begins for former pharmaceutical CEO who became known for raising the cost of a life-saving medication 5,000 percent
11:12AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Joe Arpaio on trial over immigration actions echoing Trump's
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is going on trial in Phoenix on a criminal charge stemming from immigration enforcement actions that are similar to the rhetoric and crackdowns pushed by President Donald Trump
11:08AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Court partly reinstates Trump travel ban, fall arguments set
The Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower court orders that blocked it.
11:07AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Philando Castile family reaches $3M settlement in death
The family of Philando Castile has reached a $3 million settlement over his shooting death by a police officer during a traffic stop
11:01AM ( 19 minutes ago )
China's jailed Nobel Peace laureate given medical parole
Imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate and dissident Liu Xiaobo has been transferred to a hospital after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer
10:53AM ( 26 minutes ago )