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Who Will Win the Heart of the Restaurantariat?

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would peg the minimum hourly pay for tipped workers to 70% of the standard, federal rate over the next three years. Supporters like Restaurant Opportunities Centers United believe few parts of the workforce stand to gain as much from the success of such legislation as servers. Detractors like Micheal Saltsman argue instead that restaurant owners cut hours to offset the cost of higher wages and servers lose money overall.

It’s an interesting claim that he leans on a discussion paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). It suggests that each "10 percent increase in the cash wage reduces employment at restaurants by 1.5 percent.” These “preliminary” findings use two datasets: the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and the Current Population Survey (CPS).

But there’s a way to frame the data available here for every flavor of the week.