Phi Beta Cons

Seattle’s New $15 Minimum Wage

T.J. Jan, a student at Seattle Pacific University, weighs in on his city’s huge minimum wage hike from $9.32 to $15, and explains why students and recent grads are likely to be hit hard by the sharp increase.

Apparently, there’s a neighboring city, just south of Seattle, where they’ve already tried it:

What about the neighboring city of SeaTac, home to the region’s main airport, which raised its minimum wage to $15 effective this year through a ballot initiative?

It hasn’t worked as beautifully as believers would have liked. Scrapping benefits like 401(k) plans and vacation time, and putting additional burdens on consumers such as higher parking costs, are ways that businesses in SeaTac have sought to save money.

If you work in Seattle, there’s a good chance your employer will have to take away benefits and employee lunches or raise costs in order to raise your wage. They might close or replace you altogether. Want to compete with a burger machine that can make 360 “gourmet” burgers in one hour?

Not only does a higher wage make job applications and interviews more competitive – it raises overall structural unemployment, which is affected by things like minimum wage, unemployment benefits and healthcare benefits.

At nearly $6 above current levels, the new minimum wage will radically affect structural unemployment. Unfortunately, that’s probably going to be students and recent graduates…

Click here to read the full story.


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