Seattle Considering Raising Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour

Date: April 07, 2014

Increase Would Make City An Outlier

Seattle’s city council is considering increasing
the city’s minimum wage from $9.32 an hour to $15 an hour. The proponents of
the measure argue that it is necessary to decrease inequality in a city with a
number of booming tech companies. However, the proposed level would give
Seattle a far higher wage than any other major city. A government analysis of
the proposal finds that it would impact about 102,000 workers that currently
make less than $15/hr. The increase, according to the study, would fall most
heavily on the hotel and restaurant industry.

The potential
move has already raised the hackles of small businesses in the city. For
example, a group of small, independent businesses has banded together to form
“Forward Seattle,” which has expressed its concern with the impact on small
businesses. The group is proposing an alternative $11 an hour minimum wage for
small businesses, with annual adjustments through 2017. The group is also
seeking to include tips, commissions, benefits and profit sharing as part of
the wage.

What This Means For Small Business:

Such a sharp increase would be difficult for small businesses in Seattle, who
will often lack the flexibility to respond to such a sharp wage increase
without failing or laying off significant numbers of workers. NFIB has put
together a fact sheet on the negative impact of
mandatory wage increases
on small businesses.

Additional Reading:

The New York
Times
has a
piece covering the debate, while KIRO-FM focuses on the small business
angle. The AP reports on those that will be
impacted. Jonathan Martin writes about the harsh tone of the debate, in his
column for the Seattle
Times
.

This news article is intended to keep small business owners apprised of current events that may affect them. It does not necessarily reflect NFIB’s policy position on such issues.

Related Content: News | Labor | Minimum Wage | National | Washington

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