State and Local Minimum Wage Hikes Take Effect

A total of 22 jurisdictions increased baseline pay for hourly workers.

July 02, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) commented on the 22 minimum wage increases that officially took effect on Monday, July 1. These increases impact two states, the District of Columbia and 19 localities and have the potential to cause job losses and business closures across the nation, EPI reported.

The largest increases will come in the California cities of Alameda, Fremont and Milpitas, which will each see an increase of $1.50 an hour. Fremont restaurants employing fewer than 20 people will see a more moderate rise. The minimum wage in San Francisco and Berkeley will increase by 59 cents to $15.59.

Evidence shows minimum wage hikes can have negative consequences, including a reduction in employee hours, lost job opportunities or even business closures, the EPI said and noted the following examples:

  • After enacting a $15 minimum wage, city officials in Emeryville, California, announced the city would halt a wage increase planned for this summer for full-service restaurants after a city-sponsored study identified widespread job losses and business closures.
  • New York City lost roughly 6,000 jobs last year as a direct result of the state and city’s rapidly rising minimum and tipped minimum wage.
  • Researchers from UC Riverside found that California’s minimum wage increases have contributed to a decline in restaurant growth. For high-income regions, such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the full-service restaurant industry will have created 30,000 fewer jobs between 2017 to 2022, the result of a rapidly rising minimum wage without a tip credit.
  • According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has also forced many childcare centers to hike tuition costs, slash staff hours and cut staff benefits or professional development investments. 

EPI has studied the consequences of dramatic minimum wage increases at Facesof15.com. The site features more than 160 stories of job loss, reduced hours and fewer opportunities for teens, among other consequences of minimum wage increases.

“Employees and business owners will suffer yet again thanks to the consequences of higher wage mandates,” said Samantha Summers, communication director, EPI. “Multiple studies and anecdotal evidence show that wage hikes continually reduce workplace opportunities by reducing employee hours worked, the number of jobs available or even forcing businesses to close.”

To review the list of all locations that increased the minimum wage on July 1, visit EPI.

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