Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Would Increasing the Minimum Wage Create Jobs?

A few liberals say so. But even if they're right, the effect would be small and short-lived.

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The standard argument against raising the minimum wage is that it kills jobs by making workers more expensive to hire. Whether or not that’s true has been the subject of century-long economics debate, which probably won’t be resolved any time soon. But lately, some liberals have been attempting to flip the old criticism on its head. Higher minimum wages, they say, don’t destroy jobs. Higher minimum wages create jobs!

This week, for instance, the Economic Policy Institute released a reportestimating that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, up from $7.25 today, would add an additional 85,000 jobs to the economy, a finding that’s been covered in liberal-leaning outlets like The Huffington Post.

It’s not an entirely crazy notion. But it’s also less exciting than you might think.

• Category: National • Tags: Jordan Weissmann