An article in Reason on the effects that a $15 per hour minimum wage will have on car wash employment is a mini history of car wash automation. What is most surprising about it: the level of car wash automation has not steadily increased. When cheap illegal immigrant labor flooded into certain regions (notably New York City) the level of automation actually went down. This happened for multiple reasons including the ability to locate a non-automated car wash on a smaller piece of property.
A higher minimum wage (coming to California, New York State, and perhaps some other states) will bring back much higher levels of car wash automation in Los Angeles and New York City. It will also incentivize the development of automated means to clean inside the car.
As minimum wage rises in some pretty big jurisdictions we are going to get a clearer idea of what sorts of jobs are easiest to automate out of existence. Will the percentage drops in employment be higher in restaurants, hotels, car washes, grocery stores, vegetable farms, or fast oil change shops? Anyone have insights on sectors of the economy that would be easy to automate in response to a doubling of hourly rates for low skilled jobs?
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2016 June 05 11:00 AM|