According to The Big Picture, a financial blog, Seattle’s unemployment rate has tumbled despite the city’s minimum wage hike.
The unemployment rate in the city of Seattle—the tip of the spear when it comes to minimum wage experiments—has now hit a new cycle low of 3.4 percent, as the city continues to thrive. I’m not sure what else there is to say at this point. The doomsayers were wrong. The sky has not fallen.
This development tracks with earlier reports. In July, The Seattle Times noted that the city’s labor market was actually growing. Though this growth can’t be attributed to the wage hike, it does rebut the idea that raising wages kills businesses. And in August, economist Jared Bernstein reported that “low-wage workers’ employment, hours, and wages all rose substantially” after the wage hike.
We still don’t have enough information to know if Seattle’s model can be replicated nationally. But this is further evidence that a $15 minimum wage doesn’t necessarily lead to disaster—and helps workers as it was intended to do.