New Year, Same Bad Idea: Starting 2019 with 43 Minimum Wage Hikes

As the ball drops this New Year’s Eve, 43 states and municipalities across the U.S. will be implementing minimum wage hikes. The 20 states and 23 locales are listed below:

After taking these increases into account, sixteen municipalities will have implemented what has become a progressive litmus test – a minimum wage of $15 or higher.

California’s minimum wage will increase to $12.00 on January 1st, and by 2022, California will become the first state in the union to implement a $15 minimum wage. This radical minimum wage experiment has real-world consequences. Dr. David Macpherson of Trinity University and Dr. William Even of Miami University found that California’s statewide minimum wage hikes will have killed 400,000 jobs by the time they are fully implemented. This estimate is conservative, as it does not take into account the hodgepodge of municipal minimums dotting the landscape.  

This January, thirteen cities in California will observe minimum wage mandates. This means that in 2018, 24 separate municipalities administered wage hikes across the Golden State. A labor economist with UC Santa Cruz commented that these local policies “make a difference.” Unfortunately, that difference is often not one that policymakers intended.

A comprehensive study by economists Scott Adams and David Neumark proves that minimum wage increases – regardless of where they are tried – lead to employment losses for our least-skilled workers. Researchers arrived at this conclusion after summarizing research and analysis looking into the impact of living wage laws across nearly 100 cities and local governments.

Instead of being dressed to the nines this New Year, these states and municipalities will be reminiscing of the times before costly government mandates.