The higher minimum wage has not put a crimp on restaurant and hotel hiring.

Restaurants and hotels in Minnesota added 5,000 jobs in November on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the largest monthly gain on record, according to the latest figures from the state.

“Our increase in minimum wage is not only raising the earning power of workers in this sector, but is also not having those negative impacts on employment that many had feared,” said Steve Hine, the state labor market economist.

Legislators passed a law this spring increasing the minimum wage for most workers — those employed at companies with more than $500,000 in annual revenue — from $7.25 per hour to $8 per hour in August. The wage steps up $1 per hour next year and another 50 cents in August 2016 to $9.50 per hour.

Some fear that the minimum wage increase would discourage businesses from hiring workers. So far that has not happened. October was a rough month for the category, but September and November, the two best months for hiring at hotels and restaurants in Minnesota on record, more than made up for it.

 

Photo: A waiter brings drinks to patrons at Parka on East Lake Street in 2013. (By Marlin Levison)