Disparities in Job Tenure: Can the Minimum Wage Help?

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Policies to reduce turnover are increasingly important for their ability to reduce costs for employers and improve financial stability for workers. Critically, job turnover tends to be higher for marginalized groups in the labor market: women and workers of color. I propose to examine the impact of Seattle’s 2014 minimum wage law on job turnover for workers in low wage jobs, and to disaggregate impacts by gender and race using demographic and industry data from the Current Population Survey. Preliminary analysis shows that the policy reduced separations by 6.8 percent, supporting the theory that increased compensation will extend employer-employee matches. Through investigation of underlying mechanisms, and impacts by gender and race, this paper will inform policymakers across the country on how large increases in minimum wages affect employment flows and employment disparities in the low-wage labor market.