Officials in Seattle, the third-most liberal city in America, decided to mandate a $15 minimum wage to help low-wage workers. Unfortunately, the city’s action has produced a net loss for workers, according to a study commissioned by the city and conducted by economists at the University Of Washington. Seattle officials ordered the minimum wage hike to be phased in, topping out at $15 per hour by the year 2020.

Workers lose by 3-to-1 ratio

David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called the work "very credible" and "sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds."

According to the study, the costs to low-wage employees in Seattle outweigh benefits of the wage increase by a 3-to-1 ratio.

The detailed study by the National Bureau of Economic Research is likely to be carefully considered by other city councils and mayors who believe minimum wages should be arrived at by local politicians, not the free market. The study suggests that small companies and even large companies are simply cutting hours and not hiring to meet their budget requirements.

Costs each worker $125

In short, the commissioned report found that by raising the minimum wage to $15, city officials cost each worker about $125 in earnings. This is pretty much the opposite of the intended effect. While there have been many studies suggesting the artificial inflation of wages has a positive effect, this study suggests otherwise.

Businesses must balance budgets

Raising minimum wages force businesses operating on tight budgets to increase the workload on more highly-skilled and salaried employees and to rethink new hires and the amount of hours employees work.

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The study is not likely to convince everyone. However, it is deemed credible and detailed by economists and was contracted by the same city that mandated the hike in minimum wage. Despite the latest study, left-leaning think-tanks and publications are expected to continue along the path of raising minimum wages while most businesses strive to stay within their budgets by whatever means necessary, including layoffs.

UW study blow to liberals

Experts say the UW study will be used as research in determining the pros and cons of manipulating minimum wages in a competitive environment. The study may drive a wedge between Democrats who seek to criticize Trump’s economic policies and Democrats representing districts where more jobs are badly needed.

For his part, Jacob Vigdor, one of the economists at the University of Washington who participated in the new study, says the report showed employers kept highly-skilled employees earning $19 and more per hour while hiring fewer unskilled laborers at the new mandated rate. For example, after high school, an individual might have more trouble finding a job in Seattle than he or she might have had before the city mandated higher wages for Unskilled Workers.