Republican leaders are saying that raising the minimum wage to keep up with inflation leads to massive layoffs. We’ve raised the minimum wage before — seventeen times so far — so I figured it should be easy enough to check out the history. So here’s a graph of monthly unemployment rates from January 1948—December 2005 with an indicator for every time that the minimum wage was raised.
Seven times unemployment drops afterwards, seven times it goes up, and three times it has no clear or immediate effect. There’s certainly no clear correlation. Of course, that’s pretending that there are only two economic variables at play, which is obviously not so.