For workers, forced minimum wage hikes equals unemployment

Following a number of U.S. municipalities forcing through legislation to raise the minimum wage either towards or to the goal of $15 per hour, early results from these controversial policies are in.  And as expected by most logical analysts, the artificial push in higher wages is leading to massive layoffs and higher unemployment.

In Washington D.C., where the district supports the seat of American government and where the minimum wage was raised from $8.25 per hour to $11.50, on average half of all D.C. employers have laid off workers since the legislation for higher labor costs was implemented.

“Employers affected by the proposed increase to a $15 minimum wage were asked if they had either reduced the number of employees on their staff, or reduced the hours of current employees, to adapt to recently enacted minimum wage increases,” the report says. “Nearly half of employers surveyed had already taken one of these steps—suggesting that 2014-16 minimum wage increases haven’t been absorbed through higher prices alone.”

According to the report, just over half of the businesses surveyed said they planned to raise prices in order to offset the cost of a minimum wage hike. Thirty-five percent said they would likely reduce staffing levels and 37 percent said they would reduce employees’ hours or reduce the number of hours they were open for business. Thirty-one percent of businesses said they were very likely to hire more skilled workers in the future to offset the higher wage.

One in five businesses said they would move out of the District of Columbia and into Arlington, Virginia where the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Sixteen percent of businesses surveyed said they were somewhat likely to close their business if the minimum wage hike were implemented and 6 percent of businesses said they would likely close.

“These results are consistent with the best and most recent published research on the minimum wage, which finds that past increases (at lower proposed wage levels) have reduced employment for younger and less-educated employees,” the report states. – Washington Free Beacon

As has been noted before on this site, forcing up costs, either in resource or labor segments, leads to a combination of higher prices for consumers, cheaper alternatives, or as above, cuts in workers.  And in arenas such as the fast food industry, the new $15 per hour mandates have made it so robots and electronic kiosks are now less expensive to use than human labor.


It was inevitable that low skilled jobs would eventually be replaced with machines and robot equivalents in the future, but that day has now been accelerated thanks to government imposing its un-economic ideas on businesses throughout the country.  And in the end, this simply means that the costs will fall not on the businesses themselves, but on the government as it now will have to pay for thousands if not millions of new unemployed workers who will be filing for unemployment and other welfare benefits.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for,, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.