For most of 2009, the number of part-time jobs increased—part-timers being cheaper alternatives to full-time workers, whose jobs had been axed in recession-time cost-cutting moves. But since July, there’s been a drop-off in part-time gigs as well. July happens to be when the federal minimum wage was raised from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour.
In the NY Times Economix blog, a University of Chicago economics professor makes the leap connecting the job decrease to the minimum wage hike:
With all of this recession’s significant labor market problems, it’s too bad that an ill-conceived and unnecessary minimum-wage law added hundreds of thousands of people to the list of those who today cannot find jobs.
This take on the stats prompted comments (many of them angry, whodathunkit) like these:
This is silliness masquerading as economics (or can we no longer tell the difference?). The point of a minimum wage increase is not to create part-time jobs in the short term. The point is to make sure that people who have jobs are rewarded fairly for working. If mainstream economists had their way, I suspect we’d have an even more unequal distribution of income and more poverty.
Economics professors should be paid minimum wage.