Some economists believe increases in the minimum wage will have ‘little or no effect on employment.’
That’s possible. People who aren’t productive enough to make minimum wage will still be able to find sub-minimum wage work and those people won’t show up in unemployment statistics since they are not looking for a job.
Some sub-minimum wage jobs are legal. If you are self-employed, you don’t have to make minimum wage. A buddy of mine once owned a used car lot. While he was a staunch advocate of a minimum wage, his sales people were ‘self-employed’, so he wouldn’t have to pay them the minimum wage if they didn’t sell cars.
Also, unpaid internships and grad students often make less than minimum wage.
Some sub-minimum wage jobs aren’t legal. Many drugs are illegal, but somehow they are readily available everywhere.
So, in other words, while economists use the argument that a minimum wage hike will have ‘little or no effect on employment,’ they don’t come right out and that’s because those who ignore it already will continue to do so, as drugs will continue to be sold.