Christopher Flavelle uses the restaurant industry as a test case for analyzing the impact of a minimum wage increase on employment levels.
Flavelle: “Since 1990, the federal minimum wage has risen seven times. If the arguments of restaurant owners were accurate, you’d expect those increases to correspond with a drop in the number of people working at restaurants.”
“The only dips in restaurant employment came during the recessions of 1990-1991 and 2008-2009. Although those drops followed increases in the minimum wage, increases outside of recessions — in 1996, 1997 and 2007 — didn’t lead to reductions in employment levels.”