An Increased Minimum Wage is Reverting Seattle Back to the Recession

Date: April 20, 2016

Related Content: News Labor Minimum Wage Washington

Seattle continues to suffer negative consequences from its recent minimum wage increase.

An Increased Minimum Wage is Reverting Seattle Back to the Recession

Seattle’s
minimum wage hike has come back to haunt the city.

Since
phasing in its minimum wage law in April 2015, Seattle has lost 11,000 jobs while the rest of the
state has added nearly 79,000 jobs, according to the Oregon Business Report,
drawing on numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It marked the largest job loss in a nine-month period
since the recession in 2009.

After
the minimum wage hike was approved in 2014, Seattle mayor Ed Murray applauded
the measure, saying this would help rebuild Seattle’s middle class.

“Some
have called what we have done a radical experiment,” Murray said. “Today we
have taken action that will serve as a model for the rest of the nation to
follow.”

Other cities might want to tread lightly: In addition to a nearly
3 percent drop in the city’s employment, more than 6,000 people have
left the labor force altogether, according to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics.

As the phase-in reaches $15 an hour, wage increases will
drive up business costs by approximately 61 percent, according to projections
from the American Enterprise Institute. It’s not just Seattle, either: Higher
minimum wages are having negative
effects
across the country. 

Since 2012, and through 2015, the SEIU spent $7.2 million
in Washington State in the minimum wage battle, according to data compiled by
the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Union Facts. 

Related Content: News | Labor | Minimum Wage | Washington

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