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Seattle’s $15 minimum wage hasn’t cut jobs, study finds

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signs a bill that raises the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour on June 3, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The bill passed unanimously in a June 2 Seattle city council meeting. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — A new study says Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs.

The report, from the University of California at Berkeley, is certain to add to the debate as activists around the country push for increases in local, state and federal minimum wages.

The report focused on food service jobs, which some critics said could be disproportionately affected if increased wages forced restaurants to cut workers’ hours.

Author Michael Reich says that hasn’t been the case.

Last year, University of Washington researchers found mixed results for the Seattle law, which phases in an increase to $15 an hour by 2021.

They said the law appeared to have slightly reduced the employment rate of low-wage workers even as it boosted pay.