NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Hilary Wething

Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy
and Governance
University of Washington
Box 353055
Seattle, WA 98195

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2017Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle
with Ekaterina Jardim, Mark C. Long, Robert Plotnick, Emma van Inwegen, Jacob Vigdor: 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 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 e...
 
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