Last updated on 2015.06.24
My readers at South Dakota Magazine may not think minimum wage workers deserve any consideration, but fortunately, they are in the minority. Thanks to the good sense of 55% of South Dakota voters, minimum wage workers will get a raise on January 1, from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour.
But what about all the jobs ALEC says we're going to lose? South Dakota's going to end up a wreck like Minnesota, where they raised the minimum wage even more this summer, right?
On August 1, Minnesota hiked its minimum wage for small employers from $5.25 to $6.50 an hour and for large employers from $6.15 to $8.00. Those are hikes of 24% and 30%, respectively. South Dakota's upcoming increase is 17%.
Let's look at what has happened to employment in Minnesota since then, with some numbers from the whole past year for context:
|Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development|
Three months after imposing a higher relative increase in costs on minimum-wage employers than South Dakota's increase will, Minnesota has 17,157 more jobs. Unemployment ticked down two tenths of a percentage point in August, in September, and again in October.
The last three months continue a steady upward economic trend in Minnesota that has taken place under a strong regime of Democratonomics that the Republicans are acknowledging they probably aren't going to overturn with their new State House majority.
Minimum wage goes up; job growth hums along. Minimum wage decriers, cry away.