June 29 — To the Editor:
While most Americans celebrate this holiday weekend, employees and small businesses in Seattle have less to be excited about.
According to a new University of Washington study, the city’s experiment with a $13 minimum wage has reduced opportunities for employees in the city. Instead of boosting pay, affected employees on average brought home $125 less per month, as the higher hourly pay was offset by a loss in hours.
The stories back up the statistics. For instance, small business owners Heidi and Karam Mann were forced to lay off more than half the staff at their Subway franchise, when the entire cost of the wage hike couldn’t be passed off through higher prices. (Their story and others can be found on Facesof15.com.)
States and cities considering whether to follow Seattle’s lead on wage mandates should let economic reality rather than rhetoric guide their decisions.
Managing director, Employment Policies Institute