minimum wage rises again
to remain nation's highest
Johnson, VP Government Affairs
January 1, 2013 the Washington State minimum wage will climb to $9.19 per hour
from its current level of $9.04 - a 15-cent increase. The state allows and will
likely continue to allow the highest minimum wage in the country.
If you are
a retailer who depends on minimum wage employees to make your operation work and
stay viable, this news is disappointing. Our state continues to struggle along
the bottom during this sluggish and unpredictable economy and recession.
Retailers and other businesses will have no choice but to lower staff levels to
make up the difference. Has our economy really improved to the point where we
can force employers to pay more in wages even when their business has not
we need to consider the impacts to higher wage earners. When the entry-level
positions are arbitrarily given a raise not based on performance, upper-level
employees expect to receive a raise as well. This is called wage
automatically raising the minimum wage every year based on Seattle's urban price
index, as Washington does, state officials should look at the realities of our
economy. We still have high unemployment and low consumer confidence. Raising
the minimum wage leads to higher prices and fewer jobs.
legislature and governor should seriously consider freezing the minimum wage
during times of high unemployment. They should also look at expanding the state
teen wage to include 16 and 17 year olds. This age group is severely impacted
and continues to find it more difficult to find work and develop the necessary
job skills to be successful later in life.
the state should consider using a different wage calculator. Using Seattle to
calculate wages for Omak, where the cost of living is a fraction of the big
city, is ridiculous.
I hope the
new governor and the legislature have the fortitude to address these very real
concerns during the upcoming legislative session.