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Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Already Killing Jobs – Even Before it Begins

$15 wage already affecting Seattle businesses
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Seattle business leaders – even some who supported idea – are now “terrified” of $15-per-hour minimum wage.  And there’s an even scarier proposal that could move implementation way forward.

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) reported Friday that not only are many Seattle business leaders already planning to “hold” on new jobs, many are planning future cutbacks.  The WPC and Northwest Public Radio KUOW are reporting smalll business throughout the city are panicking over the super high minimum wage. According to WPC:

 ”Multiple small business owners told KUOW they are holding off on opening new businesses or expanding their current business in Seattle, while others said they are delaying plans to hire new workers.”

One of these owners is Jody Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale, a string of very successful bakery and pastry shops.   Even Hall, who once supported the $15 idea, now admits the policy is “keeping me up at night like nothing ever has.”

But even more chilling to business owners is a charter proposal put forth by the group called 15NOW.   They plan to pressure Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and city leaders to forgo the proposed 5 to 7 year implementation phase, and force businesses to start paying $15-per-hour in 2015!   Murray and his staff commissioned a study that claimed raising the minimum wage would benefit poverty-level and low income workers.

But the study DID NOT examine the effect this raise would have on the Seattle economy.  Economist Peter Nickerson, PhD did a followup study based upon Murray’s analysis.  He found that the $15 minimum wage would affect the potential employment of at least 117,000 workers, and over 10,000 businesses in Seattle would be impacted.  Of these, over 7,000 were small busineses, or those with anywhere from 1-9 employees.

Some businesses are even relocating outside the Seattle city limits.  KUOW and WPC report one major company, Northwest Caster and Equipment,  made the tough decision to move into the unincorporated area of Lynnwood, WA.  According to the owner,  their statement summed up what is becoming an increasingly-spoken phrase about not only Seattle – but many areas of the state as well:

“It just seems like increasingly the city’s become a more difficult place to do business.”

 

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