March 10, 2011

When Jobs are Outlawed...

It's almost as if the minimum wage laws are not a good idea or something.


Interestingly, the average number of employed members of the civilian labor force in 2006 was 144,427,000. In 2010, the average number of employed members of the civilian labor force in the U.S. was 5,363,000 less, standing at 139,064,000.

So, in percentage terms of the change in total employment level from 2006 to 2010, jobs affected by the federal minimum wage hikes of 2007, 2008 and 2009 account for 41.8% of the total reduction in jobs seen since 2006.

Wait a minute. You outlaw jobs and have fewer of them? If only there were some branch of science that could advise these politicians on items like this...

Hat-tip: Mankiw.

Economics and Markets Posted by John Kranz at March 10, 2011 4:38 PM

how much of this is because of inflation, though? of course more people earned 7.25 or less in 2006 than 2010. the price and wage level has risen since then.

Posted by: mike at March 10, 2011 6:18 PM

Fair point, Mike. But I compute 2006-2010 Inflation at a hair under 8% using these against almost 41% increase in the minimum wage (from here). Not negligible, to be certain, but it does not invalidate the point.

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2011 8:59 PM

Shouldn't the graph heading refer to the number of individuals earning $7.25? There can't be any earning less than that, can there? That would be illegal, right? Illegal wages must mean illegal workers.

So to really understand what's going on I guess we need to know how many are paid the minimum wage and how many are paid less.

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2011 3:15 PM | What do you think? [3]