If correct, the authors’ results imply that, on net, the employment losses after the wage increase outweighed the wage benefits to those workers who saw their wages rise.
We also note that another recent study of the Seattle labor market’s response so far to the minimum wage ordinance finds estimates of the employment effect in the restaurant sector that are in line with earlier research and concludes that to date the minimum wage increases have had no negative impact on employment (Reich, Allegretto, and Godoey 2017).
A common approximation for the strength of the minimum wage is the ratio of the minimum to the median hourly wage for individuals working full time, sometimes called the Kaitz index.
The authors preferred estimates of the employment impact of the Seattle increases oddly concludes that the minimum wage caused a large growth in employment in jobs paying more than $19.00 per hour.
The fact that the authors find that the minimum wage led to large increases in employment well above $19 per hour suggests that their methods are not well designed and are not capturing the true employment impact of the ordinance.