The Job Implications of the 2016 Election’s State Minimum Wage Initiatives

On November 8th, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington will decide on whether their respective states will raise the minimum wage for all workers. Specifically, residents in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine will consider increasing the minimum wage to $12 per hour and residents in Washington state will vote on increasing the minimum wage to $13.50 per hour. While proponents of these measures hope they will improve the welfare of low-wage workers, American Action Forum (AAF) research has consistently shown that proposals to raise the minimum wage often hurt those they intend to help by increasing joblessness among low-skilled workers and failing to deliver income gains to those who actually need assistance.

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