Does $15 per hour mean more money for most?

Seattle’s decision to hike up minimum wage to $15/ hour was a bold proposal from the beginning and is just now starting to play out. The most obvious concern surrounding this new wage level is that fewer people will be able to find jobs at all. Seattle stated before the enactment of this policy that they understood that consequence and were willing to accept it because those who did have jobs would be earning a “living wage” and they thought that outweighed the spike in entry-level unemployment.


Now, as this experiment begins to evolve, new issues are starting to arise such as the amount of hours workers can get at this new wage level. Currently, Seattle’s minimum wage ranges between $10.50 and $13 an hour, depending on the size of the firm, that number will gradually increase until 2021 and at that time it will be $15 everywhere. 


The point being, many Seattle companies aren’t even halfway there as far as wage increases go and negative impacts are already becoming apparent. Minimum wage workers are finding it harder to find jobs; Seattle’s unemployment rate has increased over half a percentage point since this policy was proclaimed. This same chunk of the workforce are seeing their hours decrease as a result of their employer scrambling to keep their variable costs constant. Companies are closing earlier, opening later and decreasing the number of employees working per shift in order to combat this wage spike, they simply cannot afford it. If you managed to keep your position at your job and still work the same amount of hours as before the wage raise than you are obviously making more money and this policy is great. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many people trying to survive off of their minimum wage income.


This entire process is being monitored closely across the country, as Seattle is the first major city to implement such drastic change and the preliminary results are less than promising. Other cities are watching and waiting for a conclusion so they can make decisions about the possibility of enacting a similar plan in their own cities. That being said, the findings aren’t nearly as catastrophic as many had predicted, there hasn’t been a massive swing up or down but most analysts are in agreement that so far this higher minimum wage rate is hurting those it was intended to help. A little.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

There are various ways to plan for the handling of your remains after death, as we discussed in Part I of “How to Handle Remains in Washington State.” What option you choose will likely turn on some combination of your…

Death is a part of life. Like taxes, there's no avoiding it. Also, like taxes, you may not like thinking or talking about the subject. However, if you think about death and how to handle your remains from a planning…

Every child deserves love, stability, and consistency. Is there a child in your life that you have considered adopting, perhaps because they are the child of your spouse or a child you are fostering? Perhaps there is an adult in…

The thought of losing your home or its contents in a disaster is a scary thought. Loss of life, destruction of irreplaceable items such as home movies, photos, and heirlooms make it unconscionable. But as we know in life, sometimes…

Spoiler alert: If you’re doing everything around the house (or at work) because you’re living (working) with a bunch of incompetent fools, or so they’ve led you to believe they are, you’re being manipulated. So pervasive is this phenomenon, there’s…

If you've created an estate plan, you've already spent a good deal of time thinking about what will happen to you if you become sick, incapacitated, or die, including where you will go (literally) when you die. After all, you don't want your…

If you're 18 or older and live in Washington State, you can legally change your name to anything you want as long as you're not doing so to commit fraud. For example, if your goal is to change your name to evade…

Your estate plan should ensure your special needs child experiences the best quality of life they can, that the assets upon which they will rely will last as long as possible during their lifetime, and that their eligibility for public services will be maximized. Learn more.

Popular culture is using the moniker "America's daughter" to describe Gabby Petito because she could've been any of our daughters. Learn how to talk to your daughter about the signs of domestic abuse.

When a couple decides to divorce, and one spouse is unable to support themselves, spousal support becomes a hot-button issue. Learn how to mitigate conflict and move forward.