The South Dakota Budget and Policy Project has just issued a report analyzing the impact of Initiated Measure 18, the ballot proposal to increase South Dakota's minimum wage. The highlights that should inform your vote:

  • 64,000 South Dakotans will get a raise.
  • 34,000 of those workers currently make under $8.50. Bringing them all up to the proposed minimum will translate into an average yearly raise of $1,125.
  • The other 28,000 currently make between $8.50 and $9.75. SDBPP estimates that those workers will get an average annual raise of $300 as employers adjust their pay scales.
  • 78% of those getting raises will be adults.
  • 76% of those getting raises have finished high school.
  • 45% of those affected workers are working full-time.
  • 21% work less than 19 hours a week.
  • The wage hike could kill 357 jobs, if the change has the same impact that the CBO calculates would come from a hike to $9.00. We're fifty cents shy of that, so I say scale that back a snudge: 300 jobs? Heck, let Mike Rounds recruit some more EB-5 investors, and we'll make up for that in no time, right?

Let's see: nearly $47 million in new wages for folks to spend at Hy-Vee and Schoeneman's, versus maybe 300 fewer jobs worth a fraction of that income. Put those figures in the scales, voters, and tell me which way you tilt.