Advocates of higher minimum wages in Atlantic Canada want to help low-income workers. But artificially forcing up wages can actually hurt those employed in low-wage jobs.

A new study has found that workers earned less money after Seattle hiked its minimum wage in 2015. Though some workers made more per hour, fewer workers were employed in the same jobs. Meanwhile, many of those still employed worked fewer hours.

When the cost of labour rises, businesses with limited resources can afford less of it. With Atlantic Canada’s high jobless rate, forcing business to pay more could mean less work and fewer hours for many Atlantic Canadians.