Minimum Wage Up, Pressure on Jobs Down


Rachel Nunes writes succinctly about one change in Rhode Island policy and economics as of the start of the new year:

Thousands of workers in Rhode Island will see an increase on their next paychecks.

On Monday the start of 2018 brought a 50 cent increase to the minimum wage, bringing it to $10.10 per hour. That’s an increase of about six percent.

I’m just wondering:  what do folks suppose is the most-direct economic effect of increasing the cost of a particular segment of workers by 6%?  Sure, those with such jobs will have more money to spend, which they’ll do in a dispersed way, in and out of the state and with a varying degrees of broader economic benefit.

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I’d argue, though, that the most-direct economic effect is to make such workers more expensive for employers and reduce the number of such employees.  Those whose work is correctly valued at below the minimum amount will not be able to find work, which is just one of the reasons this legislative conceit and political ploy is immoral.