Editorial: Don’t hurry into $15 Minimum Wage

Daily Editorial Board

Minneapolis recently passed an ordinance to bring the minimum wage to $15 by 2024, which has drawn the criticism of many. The key case in mind when comparing economic impacts is Seattle, which for many years has been climbing to $15.

It’s important to note that the evidence is highly conflicted. Studies haven’t provided the magical statistic that people can point to for a definitive answer. This is partly why Minneapolis should be far more careful when increasing the minimum wage. While certainly increasing the pay for workers seems like a good idea in principle, the data indicates that inflation competes with the wage increase.

A new study from a group of University of Washington researchers that were commissioned by Seattle showed that low-wage workers lost $125 each month. Again, while there are legitimate problems with this study, it should make our city cautious before moving forward.

It’s also important to note that low-skilled jobs are disappearing due to automation. A minimum wage does very little to ensure job-security. If anything, the requirement to pay people even more than the current minimum wage could push employers further to automation.

Though the decision has been made, Minneapolis should take care in raising the minimum wage without considering the conflicting evidence.

They should also consider how to mitigate one of the inevitable trends of automation which is likely to upend more jobs. If the goal is to improve the quality of life for low-income workers, we must be sure that any change will bring results.