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Minimum Wage Goes Up Today (again) in Washington State

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Washington state will add to it’s lead as having the highest state minimum wage in the US today.

While the Federal Standard for paying an entry level worker is $7.25, Washington includes inflation and the Consumer Price Index in factoring the minimum wage.  Already sitting at $8.67. the increase will jump the rate to $9.04.  That’s a 37 cent increase.  But nothing compared to San Francisco.  Federal law allows states and even cities to set their own wages, as long as it’s not below the Federal Standard.  San Francisco’s minimum wage is a staggering $10.24 based upon today’s increase.   Supporters of the increases over the years, and the high rate, claim it allows workers to stay above the poverty rate.  Critics say the increases over the last few years have not resulted in greater teen or unskilled worker unemployment,  and it does not gurantee more workers will be hired.  From

The logic of minimum wage hikes (or the existence of it in the first place) is hard to discern anyway.  Leaving aside the argument against a legal minimum, though, the effect of raising the level doesn’t end up delivering prosperity or more buying power.  It drives up business costs with no commensurate increase in value, leading to either fewer employees or higher prices.

 Critics also point out that a significant number of workers who may start in minimum wage jobs eventually work their way through or up to higher skilled, higher paying jobs.   They also say minimum wage was NEVER meant to be a permanent living wage for adults; although some in the Obama Administration seem to think so.   The minimum wage has not resulted in increased teen employment since the significant raises over the last four years.  Teens, who were the target of the legislation, have seen their employment rate plummet by nearly half since 2001.

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