Rarely do we get a chance for something close to a natural experiment in the social sciences and the introduction of the national minimum wage legislation in the UK in 1999 is not one such example (no control group). But is nonetheless an interesting case.
As everyone knows most economists (less so than before but I would guess still a majority) think that minimum wages reduce employment. Indeed in the canonical model increasing the minimum wage decreases the demand for labour with the result being unemployment. For anyone who has not of yet had that model force fed to them in an econ 101 class here it is in all its graphic detail.
So much for theory lets take a look at what happened in the UK after the introduction of their first ever national minimum wage in 1999.
NMW in the graph above is the national minimum wage laws. Each of three plotted lines tracks a different age cohort of the labour market. Anyway what is the take away. For all groups unemployment decreased after the introduction of the minimum wage law. So what do the other two vertical dashed lines represent. S-11 is the terrorist attacks and the GFC is the attack of finance aka the great financial crisis.
Moral of the story: terrorists and bankers kill jobs minimum wages do not. At least not in the UK anyway.