New Year’s Wage Hikes Bring Big Consequences

We’ve chronicled the consequences of a $15 minimum wage our website Faces of $15. Less than two weeks into 2018, the list of tragic stories keeps growing.

With Ontario, Canada’s minimum wage rising to $14 an hour, franchisees of Canadian coffee favorite Tim Horton’s have been forced to reduce health benefits and other employee perks to offset the cost. The outraged response from labor groups–who organized a boycott of Tim Horton’s–has predictably missed the point: If Tim Horton’s can’t offset the cost through higher prices, they’re forced to look elsewhere to trim costs.

Here in the US, rising rage requirements in western states has forced burger concept Red Robin to eliminate bus boys at its 570 locations. (The chain had previously eliminated expediters to save money.) The Red Robin dynamic is the same as Tim Horton’s–and it appears thousands of fewer employees at just one restaurant have jobs because of it.

Multiply this impact across thousands of locations, and you start to understand why the Congressional Budget Office warned that even a $10.10 federal minimum wage would eliminate a half-million jobs.