(First posted at Sound Politics)
Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus, has been looking at Seattle’s employment numbers and noticed that following the April increase in the minimum wage to $11, we experienced the largest one month drop in restaurant jobs since the Great Recession. As he reports:
The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009… In contrast to the January-June loss of restaurant jobs in the Seattle area: a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period, b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs and c) non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington state increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs.
He notes that the loss of job’s in the restaurant industry began in January, following the smaller minimum wage increase at the beginning of the year. From January to June, we’ve also experienced the largest loss in restaurant worker jobs since Great Recession.
This of course follows Wendy’s disclosing to analysts that they are actively planning ways to lower staff numbers in the face of minimum wage increases and McDonald’s reporting that they’re looking at ways to replace workers with self-order kiosks and other automation opportunities for similar reasons.
As I’ve mentioned before, the minimum wage is great for those who can get a job, most of whom don’t happen to be poor. On the other hand, the poor and uneducated — those that we should particularly care about — get shut out of the labor market, reducing their opportunities to get skills and experience.