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Barry Ritholtz

Doomsayers Keep Getting It Wrong on Higher Minimum Wages

In Seattle, unemployment has fallen and business has boomed since the city raised its pay floor.


Photographer: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald/getty images

In 2014, Seattle passed an ordinance to eventually raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour, giving the Pacific Northwest city the highest pay floor in the U.S.

The ink wasn’t even dry on the wage legislation when the dire warnings of economic collapse began. Unemployment would skyrocket, economic growth in the state would be hurt, restaurants and small businesses would close en masse. The deserved punishment would be swift and harsh.