Here’s another nail in the coffin of the persistent rumor that a higher minimum wage is a job killer. According to the Center for Economic Policy and Research, states that raised their minimum wage at the beginning of the year have seen higher employment growth than states that haven’t.
At the beginning of the year, 13 states — Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — all increased their minimum wages in line with inflation or new legislation, Think Progress reports. The average change in employment for these 13 states over the first five months of the year compared to the last five months of the previous year is .99%, while the remaining states are batting a .68% average in employment change.
What’s more, all but one of the 13 who increased minimum wage are experiencing employment increases, and of the 13, nine — more than half — are experiencing growth well above the median rate. The analysis that Think Progress cites builds on a earlier analysis by Goldman Sachs, who did the same evaluation, but compares January to the December of the previous year. The findings concluded that states with a minimum wage increase experienced faster job growth than those without a raise.
As ThinkProgress states, this doesn’t necessarily mean minimum wage creates more job — although it certainly does seem to imply that minimum wage increases don’t hurt job growth:
This doesn’t mean that increasing the minimum wage necessarily creates more jobs. “While this kind of simple exercise can’t establish causality, it does provide evidence against theoretical negative employment effects of minimum-wage increases,” Wolcott writes. Indeed, it adds to the evidence that higher minimum wages may not hurt job growth as much as some have warned. Washington has the highest minimum wage and saw the biggest increase in small business jobs last year. Its job growth has also remained steady and above average in the 15 years since it raised its wage. When economists studied state-level minimum wage increases over two decades they didn’t find any conclusive evidence that the raises impacted job creation.
State minimum wages and job growth in 2013.
While this is good news for the ten states that have increased their minimum wage this year, the do-nothings in Congress have stalled overall progress in raising the national minimum wage. Still the, President has promised to do what he could to help the American people — with or without the lazy, feckless Teabaggers in Congress.