A new study that analyzes the potential effects of a $15 minimum wage in the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), found that an increase to $15 could cost 1,200 jobs.
The District of Columbia’s Office of Revenue Analysis released a report Thursday, asserting that 150,000 workers in the District would be affected by the higher minimum wage and as many as 1,200 jobs could be lost by 2020 due to the new policy. Of course, nearly one-third of those jobs are in the food service industry where young people, already suffering from massive unemployment rates, represent a disproportionate percentage of the labor force.
The study further states that as many as 2,000 jobs could succumb to the increased minimum wage by 2026.
The mayor’s “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act,” stipulates that the minimum wage increases to $15 an hour by 2020, with incremental increases each year. The minimum wage is currently $11.50.
The findings revealed that nearly two-thirds of the pay increases will benefit non-D.C. residents who work in the District, but live elsewhere (likely Virginia or Maryland, which borders D.C.). While nearly two-thirds of the pay increases go to non-residents, D.C. residents will absorb 80 percent of the job losses.
“This study proves what we’ve known all along: this dramatic D.C. wage hike will hurt the most vulnerable in the District, costing them jobs and important economic opportunities,” Jeremy Adler, Communications Director for America Rising Squared, a conservative policy organization, told the Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF).
“D.C. must focus on creating more good-paying jobs for workers that need them the most and it’s clear an artificial minimum wage increase is the wrong approach to achieving this goal,” Adler continued.
The Obama administration proposed an increase to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour in 2013. The former president continued to call for an increase in the federal minimum wage throughout his presidency.
Seattle, Washington raised its minimum wage to $15 in 2014, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a new $15 minimum wage for his state in 2016, and the University of California proposes to pay its low-wage employees $15.