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A Minimum Wage Increase Would Benefit Over Half a Million Workers in Washington State

Posted by Kim Justice at Jan 23, 2014 04:30 PM |
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A proposal in the House to raise the wage floor for workers to $12 per hour would boost pay for over half a million Washingtonians and allow more workers to share in the corporate profits and increased prosperity they helped to create. Despite the common misconception that the majority of these workers are teens, full-time working adults would benefit the most. 

House Bill 2672 would raise the hourly minimum wage in three increments—from $9.32 to $10 beginning in 2015 and by an additional dollar per year until 2017 when the wage would reach $12 per hour. Once at its peak, the minimum wage would be indexed to inflation so that it keeps pace with the rising costs of food, gas, housing, and other essentials. This will help ensure that those who work hard have enough to live on and support their families. 

In the first year alone, the 68 cent increase would provide a full-time minimum wage worker with a $1,414 raise. In each of the following two years, that same worker would receive a raise of $2,080. That would help families afford good food, health, transportation and a safe place to call home. 

Contrary to the stereotype that minimum wage workers are high school students working part-time, those who stand to benefit the most are adults age 20 and over, half of whom are working full-time, and nearly half have at least some college education (see graphic).

$12_demographics

 

Ensuring that all workers share in economic growth is one way to reverse widening economic inequality and begin to rebuild the middle class. When people can make enough money to maintain basic needs, both the economy and all our communities benefit. 

Read our post “Minimum Wage Increase Right for our Economy” to learn more.  

 
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