After Washington, D.C.'s minimum wage rose to $10.50 an hour in July 2015, growth in restaurant jobs failed to keep up with the quick pace of growth it carried during the economic recovery.

As pointed out by Mark Perry, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, D.C.'s restaurant sector lost more jobs from January 2016 through July than in any other six-month period since the 2001 recession.

The minimum wage may not be the sole factor, but it's telling that restaurant jobs in Washington's suburbs continued to grow.

Perry writes, "DC restaurant jobs fell by 1,400 jobs (and by 2.7%) in the first six months of 2016 between January and July — that's the largest loss of District food jobs during a 6-month period in 15 years." [Emphasis in original]

In July 2014, the city's minimum wage rose to $9.50 an hour, up from $8.25.

The minimum wage rose again in July 2016 to $11.50 an hour. In June, Mayor Bowser signed a law that will continue to increase the minimum wage every year by about $0.70 until it hits $15 an hour in 2020. After that, annual increases will be tied to inflation.

The tipped minimum wage will rise from $2.77 to $5 an hour by 2020 and then increase with inflation.

"If the DC restaurant industry can't easily absorb an $11.50 an hour minimum wage without experiencing the greatest job losses over the last six-months than in any comparable period in 15 years," Perry says, "just imagine the troubles adjusting to further labor cost increases of more than 30% (and $3.50 an hour) for minimum wage workers in the coming years to the full $15 an hour."

Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.