GOP Doomsday Predictions Proved Wrong As States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Creation

Minimum Wage Lies: Top 5 Reasons Why You Aren't Paid More

Graphic via Good Jobs Now http://action.goodjobsnow.org/page/s/raise-the-minimum-wage

Once again, conservative claims that the economy would take a swan dive if the minimum wage were to be raised were absolutely wrong.

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As it turns out, raising the minimum wage is the real job creator, not greedy corporate CEOs as Republicans would have us believe. And here’s the proof.

13 states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, raised their minimum wage in January. Out of all of these states, only New Jersey saw a decrease in employment over the first five months of the year. The other 12 saw speedier job growth in the first half of 2014 compared to 2013 than states that didn’t raise their wages. That’s what a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research says.

According to the CEPR report released on June 30th:

“The average change in employment for the 13 states that increased their minimum wage is +0.99% while the remaining states have an average employment change of +0.68%. “

Here’s a handy-dandy chart via the Center for Economic Policy and Research for those of you who enjoy visual evidence.

Job growth per state in 2014

Clearly, Republican predictions on raising the minimum wage are incorrect. As the CEPR report states:

“While this kind of simple exercise can’t establish causality, it does provide evidence against theoretical negative employment effects of minimum-wage increases.”

It gets even worse for the GOP when you consider that 9 out of the 12 states seeing faster growth are those that set their minimum wages to rise with inflation. As you’ll recall, Republicans in the House and Senate are dead set against raising the minimum wage and they definitely don’t want to tie it to inflation. That would mean automatic increases to the minimum wage across the country. And no Republican wants to see a hard working American get a wage increase. That’s why they blocked the bill that would have done just that.

Even though congressional Republicans are blocking President Obama’s effort to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, that hasn’t stopped multiple states from taking matters into their own hands. Hawaii, Maryland, and Connecticut each raised their wages to that exact amount. Vermont raised its wage to $10.50. Massachusetts then raised its minimum wage to $11 even. But cities have made the biggest strides thus far, with Seattle leading the way by recently passing a minimum wage of $15. When it comes to raising the minimum wage, many states seem to be competing to see who can raise theirs the highest, which must make workers in those states very happy indeed.

Combined with the latest June jobs report that saw 288,000 jobs added and a drop in unemployment to 6.1 percent, this minimum wage news is fantastic for the nation and the economy. If Republicans would just quit being stubborn Obama-haters and pass a $10.10 minimum wage tied with inflation for the whole country, other states could start seeing increased growth as well. It doesn’t even have to be Republican in Congress. State level legislatures and governors could also do this very thing to help their state economies and their workers at the same time.

The minimum wage is vital to the financial security of all American workers. We already work longer and harder than workers in any other country. It’s only fair that we get paid more. The cost of living continues to go up and a majority of minimum wage workers have families, including children, to support. Having a higher minimum wage chained to inflation will not only make living easier, it will make workers happier and more productive and will ensure that the minimum wage never falls behind again as it had been doing for decades. The more money American workers have in their pockets, the more businesses and the overall economy will flourish.