Speaking of the man I will replace in the South Dakota Senate, David Novstrup said raising the minimum wage would bring all sorts of bad economic consequences. He had no evidence then to back that claim, and June 2016 South Dakota Economic and Revenue Update from the Bureau of Finance and Management tells us in several charts that Novstrup has no such evidence now.
Since the implementation on January 1, 2015, of the voters’ will to raise South Dakota’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour and adjust annually for cost of living, South Dakota’s unemployment rate has continued to decline.
As of April, South Dakota’s 2.5% unemployment rate was half the national rate and the lowest of any state.
Jobs increased by percentage and number, and they increased in the leisure and hospitality sector, where Novstrup had warned a higher minimum wage would reduce opportunities:
Nor did the minimum wage appear to have any impact on labor force participation:
BFM points out that “South Dakota’s participation rate has declined from a peak of over 73% in the early 2000’s” but settled around 69.5% in 2013. The 2015 minimum wage hike appears not to have budged that curve from its now fourth-year holding pattern.
The state’s overall economic output seems to have weathered the increased minimum wage just fine:
In other words, we raised our minimum wage over 17% and South Dakota’s economy rolled on without a hiccup. David Novstrup’s effort to cut the minimum wage for young workers was absolutely unnecessary; we can kill his Referred Law 20 for good this November without any qualms about economic impacts.