Bad news for measure R haters, the data isn’t going your way

alms for the poor

Surviving on minimum wage in Eureka

 

Whether it’s the “oppress the workers” Eureka Chamber of Commerce or Eureka’s “cowardly” City Council, there’s not much love out there for Eureka’s Measure R amongst the powers that be.

Well, the bad news just keeps rolling for those folks. Measure R is polling well and now a study by the US Labor Department raises serious questions about the claims that a “raise in the minimum wage is a jobs disaster”.

 

walmart cartoon

 

We at the Examiner feel if we’re going to be forced to live with these big boxes in our community the least we can do is make them pay a fair wage.

 

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – Maybe a higher minimum wage isn’t so bad for job growth after all.

The 13 U.S. states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year are adding jobs at a faster pace than those that did not, providing some counter-intuitive fuel to the debate over what impact a higher minimum has on hiring trends.

Many business groups argue that raising the minimum wage discourages job growth by increasing the cost of hiring. A Congressional Budget Office report earlier this year lent some support for that view. It found that a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour, as President Obama supports, could cost 500,000 jobs nationwide.

But the state-by-state hiring data, released Friday by the Labor Department, provides ammunition to those who disagree. Economists who support a higher minimum say the figures are encouraging, though they acknowledge they don’t establish a cause and effect. There are many possible reasons hiring might accelerate in a particular state.

“It raises serious questions about the claims that a raise in the minimum wage is a jobs disaster,” said John Schmitt, a senior economist at the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research. The job data “isn’t definitive,” he added, but is “probably a reasonable first cut at what’s going on.”

Just last week, Obama cited the better performance by the 13 states in support of his proposal for boosting the minimum wage nationwide.

“When … you raise the minimum wage, you give a bigger chance to folks who are climbing the ladder, working hard…. And the whole economy does better, including businesses,” Obama said in Denver.

In the 13 states that boosted their minimums at the beginning of the year, the number of jobs grew an average of 0.85 percent from January through June. The average for the other 37 states was 0.61 percent.

Nine of the 13 states increased their minimum wages automatically in line with inflation: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Four more states – Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island – approved legislation mandating the increases.

Twelve of those states have seen job growth this year, while employment in Vermont has been flat. The number of jobs in Florida has risen 1.6 percent this year, the most of the 13 states with higher minimums. Its minimum rose to $7.93 an hour from $7.79 last year.

Some economists argue that six months of data isn’t enough to draw conclusions.

“It’s too early to tell,” said Stan Veuger, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “These states are very different along all kinds of dimensions.”

For example, the number of jobs in North Dakota – which didn’t raise the minimum wage and has prospered because of a boom in oil and gas drilling – rose 2.8 percent since the start of this year, the most of any state.

But job growth in the aging industrial state of Ohio was just 0.7 percent after its minimum rose to $7.95 from $7.85. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Veuger, one of the 500 economists who signed a letter in March opposed to an increase in the federal minimum, said the higher wages should over time cause employers to hire fewer workers. They may also replace them with new technologies.

The Congressional Budget Office cited those factors in its February report. But in addition to job losses, the CBO also said a higher minimum could boost paychecks for another 16.5 million workers.

Sylvia Allegretto, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, said that research comparing counties in states that raised their minimums with neighboring counties in states that did not has found no negative impact on employment.

Restaurants and other low-wage employers may have other ways of offsetting the cost of higher wages, aside from cutting back on hiring, she said. Higher pay can reduce staff turnover and save on hiring and training costs.

State and local governments have become increasingly active on the issue as the federal minimum wage has remained unchanged for five years. Twenty-two states currently have higher minimums than the federal requirement.

And 38 states have considered minimum wage legislation this year, the most on record, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least 16 will boost their minimums starting next year, the NCSL says.

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, The Associated Press (AP Economics Writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.) Saturday, July 19, 2014

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15 thoughts on “Bad news for measure R haters, the data isn’t going your way

  1. Lots of people have been saying this for years, but the people who own our politicians and the corporate media don’t want to pay living wages for workers. They want the taxpayers to pay a huge part of their labor costs with welfare programs to keep them alive while they hoard a greater and greater share of the country’s income at the lowest tax rates in modern history and they lie (shocked?) about job losses because it is in their financial interest to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t recognize the location of the picture. Where was this taken? 

    Like

  3. Oh, the current ECC and chamber are so behind the times. Wake up sleepy heads!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wait a minute. You mean Ronaldous Gaius Reagan’s economic truth; that more and better beer for the top-enders will result in more and tastier urine splashed on the rest of us, the great unwashed, is not a truth after all?
    Well, color me yellow.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The 13 US states implementing the hourly wage increase did not propose a 33% increase in 90 days! You folks are twisting the facts to support your flawed proposal. Most people I talk to, want an increase for ALL residents of Eureka, and not just the larger businesses. Just what I heard on the streets. Because some of us do not support Measure R, does not make us haters.

    Like

    • “The 13 US states implementing the hourly wage increase did not propose a 33% increase in 90 days!”

      So what, just because nobody else has done it that way doesn’t mean it won’t work. You act like a $3hr raise is going to hurt these Big Box stores when all it’s really goin to do is reduce the amount of their profits that they send out of the area instead of having it go to local workers who will spend there earnings here and benefit our local economy.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Fred supports a city (or county?) wide increased minimum wage? Can’t imagine it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Trickle Down Economics has been going on for 30 plus years, how long does it take to trickle down? I only see trickle up going on…..

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “The 13 US states implementing the hourly wage increase did not propose a 33% increase in 90 days!”

    Except there’s only about 20 Eureka businesses effected.

    Many elderly don’t have family and shouldn’t have to worry about their life-line providers trying to raise children while working full-time in poverty.

    Liked by 3 people

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