fast-food industry


This paper re-examines the effect of the 1992 New Jersey minimum wage increase on
employment in the fast-food industry. We begin by analyzing employment trends using a
comprehensive new data set derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics's (BLS's) ES-202 data
file. Both a longitudinal sample and a repeated-cross-section sample drawn from these data
indicate similar or slightly faster employment growth in New Jersey than in eastern Pennsylvania
after the rise in New Jersey's minimum wage, consistent with the main findings of our earlier
survey. We also use the ES-202 data to measure the effects of the 1996 increase in the federal
minimum wage, which raised the minimum wage in Pennsylvania but not in New Jersey. We
find no indication of relative employment losses in Pennsylvania. In light of these findings, we
re-examine employment trends in the sample of fast-food restaurants assembled by the
Employment Policies Institute (EPI) and David Neumark and William Wascher. The differences
between this sample and both the BLS data and our earlier sample are attributable to a small set
of restaurants owned by a single franchisee who provided the original Pennsylvania data for a
1995 EPI study. We also find that employment trends in the EPI/Neumark-Wascher sample are
strikingly different for firms that reported their data on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis,
possibly because of seasonal factors. Controlling for the systematic effects of the varying
reporting intervals, the combined EPI/Neumark-Wascher sample shows no difference in hours
growth between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
American Economic Review, 2000
Krueger, A., & Card, D. (1997). A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data. Retrieved from (Original work published December 1997)
Working Papers