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Washington is Losing 8 Jobs a Day, Thanks to This Progressive Policy

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Our nation’s capital was one of the primary battlegrounds for the “Fight for Fifteen” movement. The minimum wage was raised to $11.50/hour in July (thanks to 2014 legislation signed by former Mayor Vincent Gray), and will increase to $15/hour by 2020 (thanks to current D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser).

While progressives celebrated their political victory, employees are learning the hard way that labor costs don’t exist in a vacuum.

Increased labor costs are resulting in a loss of 8 D.C. restaurant jobs a day. To make matters worse, these disappearing jobs affect low income households the most.

According to the Washington Free Beacon:

Restaurants in the nation’s capital experienced their worst hiring period in 15 years, fueling speculation that wage hikes are reducing employment opportunities. Employment in the food service industry fell in Washington, D.C. even as it continued to increase in the region. Restaurants shed 1,400 jobs in the first six months of 2016, a three percent decrease and the largest loss of jobs since the 2001 recession, according to an analysis from American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry.

The steep drop was isolated to D.C. Neighboring suburbs in Virginia and Maryland added nearly 3,000 jobs over the same period, a 1.6 percent increase in hiring.

Perry said the hiring slowdown can be tied to recent minimum wage hikes in the city. Washington, D.C. began the year with a higher-than-average wage for tipped employees in the restaurant industry. Tipped employees in the nation’s capital earn a base wage of $2.77, almost 30 percent above the federal minimum of $2.13 that is used by Virginia. The city also mandated a $10.50 minimum hourly wage for non-tipped employees in January—higher than Virginia’s $7.25 and Maryland’s $8.75 rate.

It shouldn’t take a scholar to realize this, but when government forces an increase in the cost of labor, employers respond by either: 1) raising prices or 2) reducing their cost of labor (ie. firing people). If they didn’t, they would run out of money and have to close their doors for good.

Washington D.C.’s minimum wage after the latest hike is $11.50 per hour. When the city government officially raises the minimum wage to $15, we can only expect the unemployment to get worse.

Tom Borelli

Dr. Tom Borelli is a Newsmax TV contributor and radio commentator addressing political issues from a conservative grassroots perspective. As a columnist, he has written for The Washington Times and authored articles for Newsmax Magazine, Newsmax Insider and previously was a co-host with his wife Deneen Borelli on the SiriusXM Patriot channel. Dr. Borelli appeared on numerous television programs, including the highly ranked Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity,” “The Kelly File," and "America’s News Headquarters." He has also appeared on Fox Business Network’s “Making Money with Charles Payne” and “After the Bell” as well as TheBlaze TV’s "The Glenn Beck Program" and "Dana!" Prior to working for public policy organizations, Dr. Borelli was a managing partner with the investment advisory firm of Action Fund Management, LLC and a portfolio manager for the Free Enterprise Action Fund (FEAF) where he used shareholder activism to challenge corporations that sought to profit from the growth of government. During his 25 years with the Altria Group, Inc., he built a foundation in public policy and issues management, drawing from diverse experiences ranging from basic research to corporate affairs. Dr. Borelli served as science fellow for the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology during the 100th Congress. Dr. Borelli has also published scientific papers on interferon and human leukemia.

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