Seattle's $15 minimum wage may not be working,…


As companies look for ways to cut costs, Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law may be hurting hourly workers instead of helping them, according to a new report.

A report from the University of Washington (UW), found that when wages increased to $13 in 2016, some companies may have responded by cutting low-wage workers’ hours. The study, which was funded in part by the city of Seattle, found that workersclocked 9% fewer hours on average, and earned $125 less each month after the most recent increase.


If youre a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money, Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and an authorof the report told the Seattle Times.It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.

In 2014, Seattle City Council voted to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The minimum wage increased from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 20 15, and to $13 in 2016, according to the report. Under the law, businesses must raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workersby 2021.


The study comes on the heels of a University of California – Berkeley report last week that found the law boosted restaurant workers’ pay without costing jobs.

Unlike the University of California study, the UW report examines low-wage workers across different sectors, not just restaurants, and was able to examine hours Seattle workers have worked since the 2016 increase took place.

The study notes that like other research, including the University of California study, they found the minimum wage increase had little effect on the restaurant industry.


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The Seattle City Council has passed an ordinance that gradually increases the minimum wage in the city to $15, which would make it the highest in the nation. VPC

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he stands behind the $15 minimum wage law, Reuters reported.

“Raising the minimum wage helps ensure more people who live and work in Seattle can share in our city’s success, and helps fight income inequality,” Murray said in a statement in response to the study.

Across the country,many states have increased minimum wages above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, which has been inplace since2009. Last year, California Gov. Jerry Brown and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will eventually raise their states’ minimum wageto$15 per hour.


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2017 minimum wage increases: These 21 states are paying workers more

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2017 minimum wage increases: These 21 states are paying workers more