Sunday, November 17, 2013

European minimum wage and unemployment facts

This certainly doesn't prove anything, but it's one more data point to add to our opinions on the minimum wage. I still don't understand why progressives don't mostly prefer wage subsidies (i.e. the EITC) over the minimum wage:
Regarding the minimum wage, here is some data for Western Europe: 
There are nine countries with a minimum wage (Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Luxembourg).  Their unemployment rates range from 5.9% in Luxembourg to 27.6% in Greece.  The median country is France with 11.1% unemployment. 
There are nine countries with no minimum wage (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland.)  Five of the nine have a lower unemployment rate than Luxembourg, the best of the other group.  The median country is Iceland, with a 5.5% unemployment rate.
-- link