$15 Minimum Wage Would Boost Employment in New York State, Study Concludes

Minimum wage model

A new study from UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment concludes that raising the minimum wage in New York City to $15 by 2018 and in the rest of the state by 2021, would actually result in a net increase of jobs:

Our estimate projects a cumulative net gain in employment of 3,200 jobs by mid-2021, which corresponds to 0.04 percent of projected 2021 employment.

Sure, 3,200 jobs is a tiny gain within the context of a giant economy like New York’s, but the point is it’s not the catastrophic loss that the naysayers warn of. It’s not any loss at all. In fact, it’s the opposite.

But more important is the “23.4 percent average wage increase for 3.16 million workers” in New York State. As The Donald would say, that’s yuuuge!

How is this possible? “How can such a major improvement in living standards occur without adverse employment effects?” Simple, the researchers conclude:

While a higher minimum wage induces some automation, as well as increased worker productivity and higher prices, it simultaneously increases worker purchasing power. In the end, the costs of the minimum wage will be borne by turnover reductions, productivity increases and modest price increases.

As we’ve been saying all along: When workers have more money, businesses have more customers and hire more workers. Pretty obvious, right?

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Goldy
David "Goldy" Goldstein has written about politics for The Stranger, The Nation and the Huffington Post. He hosted “The David Goldstein Show” on Seattle’s news/talk 710-KIRO from 2006 through 2008, and has been pissing off readers at his blog HorsesAss.org for more than a decade.