Headline: After A Year, Seattle’s New Minimum Wage Hasn’t Raised Retail Prices
Then you read things like
“The fact that we didn’t find very many price increases in those types of outlets was a little bit more surprising to us.”
Emphasis mine. Doesn't match the headline, does it?
One exception to the trend was restaurants, which raised prices 7%-9%
because they rely so heavily on labor. Even there, however, owners
sometimes found other ways to cut expenses as they paid workers more,
such as closing during slow hours or asking customers to wait a little
longer because fewer people are waiting tables.
'Fewer people', which indicates either hours cut or people laid off. On top of the price increases. But 'Hasn't Raised Retail Prices'.
That also doesn't count the restaurants and other small businesses that closed because of this, or weren't started. But that's not important, I guess(except for the lost jobs and such).
I ran across this story on Michael Z. Williamson's page on Bookface, and one of the comments was this:
read quite a few contrary stories from Seattle. Quite a few businesses
shuttering or reducing services or product. And one common theme seems
to reducing employee benefits, such as free parking, free meals, or
employee discounts. I've read many complaints that reduction in
benefits has eaten up the pay increase.
Yep. Same thing has been noted in San Francisco: lots of small businesses, especially restaurants, closing because they can't make it under the new minimum-wage law. But I guess all that doesn't count as long as they can claim 'MOST retail prices haven't gone up(yet)'.