Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle

75 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2017 Last revised: 7 May 2022

See all articles by Ekaterina Jardim

Ekaterina Jardim

University of Washington

Mark C. Long

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Robert D. Plotnick

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Emma van Inwegen

University of Washington

Jacob Vigdor

University of Washington

Hilary Wething

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

This paper evaluates the wage, employment, and hours effects of the first and second phase-in of the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance, which raised the minimum wage from $9.47 to as much as $11 in 2015 and to as much as $13 in 2016. Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly wage rate, we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by 6-7 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by 3 percent. Consequently, total payroll for such jobs decreased, implying that the Ordinance lowered the amount paid to workers in low-wage jobs by an average of $74 per month per job in 2016. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when analyzing employment in the restaurant industry at all wage levels, comparable to many prior studies.

Suggested Citation

Jardim, Ekaterina and Long, Mark C. and Plotnick, Robert D. and van Inwegen, Emma and Vigdor, Jacob and Wething, Hilary, Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle (June 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23532, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2992408

Ekaterina Jardim (Contact Author)

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Mark C. Long

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance ( email )

Seattle, WA 98125
United States

Robert D. Plotnick

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance ( email )

Seattle, WA 98125
United States

Emma Van Inwegen

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Jacob Vigdor

University of Washington ( email )

Hilary Wething

University of Washington - Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance ( email )

Seattle, WA 98125
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
343
Abstract Views
1,265
rank
120,402
PlumX Metrics