by Ann Harrison
Seattle’s city council passed legislation that will raise the wage from $9.00 for some businesses and $11.00 for others, to $15 per hour as early as 2017 for some large city corporations, and by no later than January 1, 2021 for small businesses. This minimum wage increase, is the highest in the United States. The entire state of Washington currently has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $9.32 per hour.
According to Seattle’s mayor Ed Murray, some people call this minimum wage hike a radical experiment. The question that arises from this legislation is whether or not the nation’s unemployment rate with increase or decrease with this significant rise in the minimum wage from $7 to $15 per hour. To answer the question about the effect this large increase in the nation’s minimum wage will have on the economy, let’s use the statistics for Seattle as an example.
According to evidence discovered by the bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the monthly employment rate has dropped by 11,000 and the number of unemployed workers has risen by more than 5,000 and the unemployment rate has increased by more than 1 percentage point, since the initial minimum wage increase took affect in April 2015.
The first bottom line to consider is that before the initial increases in minimum wage came to pass on April 1, 2015, Seattle’s employment rate was at an all time high for the past five years. It is possible that the reduction in the rate of employment was due to the minimum wage increase placing higher labor costs on employers. This minimum wage increase not only has a negative impact on larger corporations, but small businesses may be forced to close their doors, if the cost of paying their employees outweighs the profit they receive.
The second point to consider, is that evidence also shows, that while Seattle’s rate of employment fell, and the unemployment rate increased, The cities outside of Seattle saw an increase in the number of jobs that were created, and the unemployment rate decreased. With that being said, I strongly believe that the United States, as a whole, should not follow Seattle’s lead by raising the minimum wage to rates above and beyond the ability of a corporation to pay its employees.
About the Author
Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. She is currently working on several novels, and a self-help book. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at www.wwannwrites.wordpress.com.