Did the PA min. wage increase cost jobs?

The PA Department of Labor and Industry released their report on the state minimum wage increase. As this Post-Gazette story indicated, the report doesn’t attempt to address what the effect on jobs lost.

We have commented and testified both anecdotal and survey evidence of employers laying off workers, reducing hours and costs elsewhere, and not hiring new employees. The report does not include this evidence, focusing solely on state and national data, and does not draw any conclusions about the employment effects of the minimum wage increase.

It is, of course, virtually impossible to tease out the impact of the minimum wage increase from state employment data. Nonetheless, the data present does allow for some interesting observations:

As the above table shows, salaried employees – i.e. those unaffected by the minimum hourly wage – represent all or most of the jobs added in 2007. Hourly jobs declined over the full year average, and were up only slightly during the 2nd half of 2007.

This table shows job growth/decline by wage. Interestingly, hourly low-wage jobs declined, while job growth occurred among higher paying jobs. This could be interpreted to mean that many slightly-above-minimum wage workers got raises, or, as our study predicted, many low-wage low-skill jobs were eliminated. Most likely, both trends were in effect.