Last night the election results revealed wins for Republicans in almost every state. But in four states where the GOP gained ground — Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota — the poor and unskilled suffered a loss.
In each of those states, voters passed ballot measures that will increase the government-mandated minimum wage. Beginning in 2015, the wage in South Dakota will increase to $8.50 an hour. In 2016, Alaska’s wage will be $9.75 an hour and $9 an hour in Nebraska. Arkansas will also raise the wage-floor to $8.50 an hour by 2017.
While the measures appear compassionate — who doesn’t want hard-working people to receive more money? — the effect will be that each of those state will likely see unintended consequences of the action.
Here are four ways the increased minimum wages will hurt low-skilled workers: