Schmudget Blog
— filed under: ,

$15 Minimum Wage: Good for Workers, Good for Our Economy

Posted by Lori Pfingst at Jun 03, 2014 07:20 PM |
Filed under: ,

Yesterday, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted in favor of gradually increasing the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years. The boost will benefit Seattle workers, their families, and our regional economy.

After four decades of stagnant wages, the vote is a bold step in the right direction. Due to the high cost of living,  an individual or family living in Seattle and working full-time earning the current minimum wage of $9.32 an hour is unable to meet basic needs – such as housing, food, transportation, and utilities (see graph).  People earning the minimum wage must forgo basic needs, or rely on government assistance just to make ends meet. 

min_wage_pass

With a gradual increase to $15, workers will find it easier to meet basic needs over time. Individuals will benefit the most, eventually being able to move beyond the basics and save a little extra for a car, house, or education – purchases that build toward an economically secure future and strengthen the economy.  Importantly, a minimum wage of $15 is still not a living wage for a parent raising children, but families will be able to meet a greater share of basic needs than before.

After decades of stagnant wages and a declining middle class, $15 an hour will benefit all of us. However, raising the minimum wage is one step within a broader strategy to invest in workers, rebuild the middle class, and strengthen the economy.  Other strategies – including affordable child care and housing, paid sick and family leave, and transportation – are gaining traction nationally and locally, which would give workers and their families’ greater opportunity to prosper, the benefits of which would ripple throughout communities, businesses, and the economy.


Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

Sign Up for #BudgetMatters17!

Our Budget Matters Seattle Policy Summit is on December 6. Find out more and sign up now!  (And a big thank you to all those who made our first-ever Spokane Budget Matters Policy Summit in October a big hit.)

Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team was in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our testimonies on TVW:
Misha TVW