Raising Minimum Wage Does Not Increase Unemployment

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Jun 1 2011
Read the Research Summaries by the National Employment Law Project or the Full Studies by Arindrajit Dube, William Lester and Michael Reich and by Sylvia Allegretto, Arindrajit Dube and Michael Reich.

Minimum Wage Effects Across State Borders (2010) provides the most sophisticated study to date of the effects of increases in the minimum wage on job growth in the United States. Taking advantage of the fact that a record number of states raised their minimum wages during the 1990s and 2000s – creating scores of differing minimum wage rates across the country – the study compares employment levels among every pair of neighboring U.S. counties that had differing minimum wage levels at any time between 1990 and 2006 and finds that higher minimum wages did not reduce employment. NELP summary

Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? (2011) examines every minimum wage increase in the United States over the past two decades—including increases that took place during protracted periods of high unemployment—and finds that raising the wage floor boosted incomes without reducing employment or slowing job creation.  The research demonstrates how a body of previous research—one frequently relied on by business lobbyists who oppose minimum wage increases—inaccurately attributes declines in employment to increases in the minimum wage by failing to sufficiently account for critical economic factors. NELP Summary