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Study finds that virtually any minimum wage hike means fewer jobs

KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

A new study using 35 years of government census data has found that raising minimum wage by just $1 means fewer low-skilled jobs thanks to automation.

The paper titled "People Versus Machines: The Impact of Minimum Wages on Automatable Jobs” was published by economists Grace Lordan of the London School of Economics and David Neumark of UC Irvine earlier this month. Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere talked about the latest evidence that raising the minimum wage kills jobs this week on “Pat & Stu.”

Defining low-skilled workers as those with a high school degree or less education, the study found that upping the minimum wage “decreases significantly” the number of available jobs for low-skilled workers as employers turn to automation, CNBC reported.

Examples of jobs that can be automated include store checkout clerks and assembly-line workers in plants. Cashiers can be replaced by self-checkout machines, while assembly-line workers can be exchanged for robotic arms.

The key finding in the study was that even a small minimum wage hike meant that low-skilled jobs took a hit.

“This study only focused on a minimum wage hike from $6.77 an hour to $7.77 an hour,” Stu noted. “A $1 raise.”

To see more from Pat & Stu, visit their channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “Pat & Stu” with Pat Gray, Stu Burguiere and Jeffy Fisher weekdays 5–6 p.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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