The same research team that found Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage law negatively impacted low-wage workers says their latest findings "contrast" with some of their earlier work.
The team that includes economists from the University of Washington found minimum wage increases were either beneficial or had no significant impact on many workers. That contradicts their previous study, which found that while the law boosted pay for low-wage jobs, it also led to employers cutting hours for some.
Not necessarily, the same group says in the latest report.
"Our analysis of over 14,000 workers employed at wages under $11/hour in early 2015, as well as some 25,000 employed at wages under $13/hour at the conclusion of 2015, documents the expected and intended impacts of Seattle's minimum wage ordinance on hourly wages," the report reads. "Evidence indicates that these workers experience no significant decline in their likelihood of being employed and a modest reduction in their hours worked ... following the first and second wage increases."
Workers employed at least nine months ahead of the law going into effect benefited the most, according to the report. Those who didn't work as much leading up to the minimum-wage law going into effect saw a decrease in hours worked, but that was offset by their gain in wages, "leaving no significant change in earnings."
Additionally, 'both less and more experienced workers were more likely to remain employed by their baseline Seattle employer, implying an 8% reduction in labor turnover rates."
The report notes that there was a decline in the number of entry-level jobs available and employers responded to higher minimum wages by shifting their workforce to include more experienced workers.
"The losses in employment opportunities appear to have been concentrated among the least experienced workers, or those attempting their first entry into the labor market," the report states.