Just saying: States that raised minimum wage experiencing faster job growth

(Cross-posted from the CEPR blog)

At the beginning of 2014, thirteen states increased their minimum wage. Of these thirteen states, four passed legislation raising the minimum wage (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island). In the other nine, the minimum wage automatically increased in line with inflation at the beginning of the year (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state).

Last month, CEPR looked at state-by-state employment growth in the first two months of 2014, highlighting these 13 minimum wage-raising states for easy comparison. Using new employment data from the BLS, we can now update these figures with data from the month of March.

Below, the chart shows the percentage change in employment for each state. The baseline is the average of the October, November, and December 2013 employment figures, which were measured against the average employment level for 2014 (January, February, and March). Overall, the findings are even more positive than last month’s employment figures. We see, again, little to no evidence for the claim that raising the minimum wage threatens job creation efforts.

CEPR min. wage

Of the 13 states that increased their minimum wage in early 2014, all but 2 have seen a gain in employment since, and half of the 10 fastest-growing states by employment were among this group of minimum wage raisers. Interestingly, 10 of these 13 states were above the median level of employment change over this period. The average change in employment for the 13 states that increased their minimum wage was +0.61%, while for the remaining states (all of which did not change their minimum wage) the average employment change was +0.27%.

Again, it is worth noting that these findings are not dispositive, given the nature of the data and the simplicity of the analysis. Still, these findings complicate one of the major arguments used against raising the minimum wage. Even among the states, which face a greater risk of ‘race-to-the-bottom’ dynamics, we do not see evidence for the purported reduction/stagnation in employment growth.

Note: All data taken from the BLS: “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly),” Table 5, seasonally adjusted.


Check Also

The one report about North Carolina public policy that you must read this week

In case you missed it on Friday or ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The following collection of numbers comes from the 2018 North Carolina Child Health Report Card comp [...]

One-stop early voting for North Carolina’s May 8 primary election is a little over a month away, but [...]

A lone Southern yellow pine tree has stood in the middle of Marvin Winstead’s Nash County field for [...]

Tallulah Cloos, 18, sometimes ponders ideal hiding spots if an active shooter were ever to terrorize [...]

The post The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

In the aftermath of recent action by state lawmakers to back down from their previously enacted unfu [...]

Penny-wise, pound-foolish. So declared a disappointed English lord in response to his heir’s poor fi [...]

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave another embarrassing and cringe-inducing media interview t [...]