Emma van Inwegen
Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle|
with Ekaterina Jardim, Mark C. Long, Robert Plotnick, Jacob Vigdor, Hilary Wething: w23532
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 per hour in 2015 and to as much as $13 per hour in 2016. Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly rate, we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent. Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when ...