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Monday, December 31, 2012

Washington's Minimum Wage to Rise to $9.19 an Hour at Midnight

Posted by on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Washington's minimum wage—indexed to inflation by a voter approved initiative—will rise to a highest in the nation $9.19 an hour at midnight tonight. The federal minimum wage is just $7.25. That's about $19,000 a year for Washington minimum wagers working a full time job, compared to only $15,000 for those full-timers earning the federal minimum wage.

Republicans argue that the minimum wage is a job killer, yet Washington's unemployment rate is a middling 7.8 percent. Go figure.


Comments (26) RSS

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Bauhaus I 32
@31: I want to see what kind of car the pizza parlor owner drives or the house he lives in. I want to see if he belongs to any $10,000/yr. country clubs or donates $5K a year to some pro-business PAC. I bet - well, I more than just bet - there's $4,000 extra dollars somewhere.

$7.35/hr. in 2013 is a disgrace to everything holy - and I bet he attends church regularly, too. $7.35/hr. is - what? - $47 a day in take home pay? About $1040 a month? Let's see his ass trying to live on that.
Posted by Bauhaus I on January 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
I read an interview with a small business owner in Missouri where the minimum wage just went up $.10, from $7.25 to $7.35 and he wasn't sure if his business could absorb the extra fees and he said he didn't want to "cut quality or raise prices" but it would be hard to find a way to pay for the wage increase.

$.10/hour at 40 hours a week is FOUR fucking dollars a week, $200 per year. The guy has a pizza parlor - if he has 20 full time (or equivalent man hours) employees, that is $4,000 per year. If his business can't afford $4k per year, he has far greater problems than how to pay his employees.

Not to mention but 100% of that extra wage is going to go back into the economy - funny thing, poor people spend all the money they have because they don't have enough to save any. So, it is likely that he'll probably get more business as a result....
Posted by randoma on January 1, 2013 at 9:28 PM · Report this
The thing that people miss about the discouraged worker thing is that this has *always* been the case. Every time employment has gone down, then back up, has been partially due to discouraged workers -- many of whom are second earners or people who can move back home. And a lot of them may be making money another way (ebay, bazaars, crafts, etc.)
Posted by K on January 1, 2013 at 4:23 PM · Report this
If the labor market were perfectly competitive and were governed by perfectly rational value-maximization on the part of both employers and workers, the minimum wage would indeed cause job losses. But of course, we all know that the economy doesn't work like that. The real labor market is full of stickiness and is heavily distorted by our monkey social psychology. The vast majority of minimum wage workers are being paid less than their marginal product, and without the minimum wage they'd be receiving even less. Far from distorting the labor market, the minimum wage corrects distortion.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on January 1, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
@1 - Renters pay property tax indirectly. Landlords pass the cost of property tax to their tenants by adding it to the rent they charge.

@2 - Never, never, NEVER cite the Heritage Foundation if you need to back yourself with facts. They are a biased, partisan outfit whose only purpose is to provide intellectual cover for the conservative Republican agenda and nothing they publish can be considered trustworthy.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on January 1, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
Bauhaus I 25
I know...don't look a gift horse (if this is a gift horse), but I remember an article in the Sunday P-I in the very late 80s showing how extremely difficult it was to live in Seattle on $9/hr. That was more than twenty years ago. While I applaud the rise in minimum wage (the federal minimum wage is shameful), it isn't enough to live alone and support yourself in one of the most expensive cities in the country.
Posted by Bauhaus I on January 1, 2013 at 8:02 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 24
@15, the phrase you are looking for is "USA #1!! USA #1!!"

Yeah...we really are pathetic as far as countries go.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on January 1, 2013 at 12:37 AM · Report this
@19, you're right and hardly anyone mentions that. I'm not sure when it became some religious dictum that every person who wants a small business deserves to have one, even if it means they don't pay their employees enough to live.
Posted by sarah70 on December 31, 2012 at 9:52 PM · Report this
doloresdaphne 19
$9.19 is still criminally low, but still, congratulations Washington.

The problem with low or no minimum wages is that it leads employers to be inefficient and wasteful with the labour they use. The way I see it, if you can't afford to pay your staff more than $20 an hour, (or whatever the liveable wage is), then your business isn't viable, and you need to be doing something different.
Posted by doloresdaphne on December 31, 2012 at 7:00 PM · Report this
sperifera 18
@12 - Thank you for noting what a douche Linda Derschang is. She was the Worst. Customer. Ever.
Posted by sperifera on December 31, 2012 at 6:24 PM · Report this
I gather that no one expects anyone to live off the minimum wage (either the one in Washington state or the federal one). Way too low.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on December 31, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
internet_jen 16

Workers in all industries who are 16 years of age or older must be paid at
least the minimum wage for all hours worked. Workers who are 14 or 15
may be paid 85% of the minimum wage.…

Are there any exceptions to payment of minimum wage for agricultural workers?
Yes. Minimum wage does not apply for any individual if all the following requirements are met:

- The individual is employed as a hand-harvest laborer; and
- The individual is paid on a piece rate basis in an operation where such payment is customary; and
- The individual is a permanent resident and commutes daily from his or her own residence to the farm; and
- The individual has been employed in agriculture less than 13 weeks in the preceding calendar year.

For example, someone (an adult or minor) who works less than 13 weeks per year harvesting berries during berry season, but does not normally work in an agricultural job at any other time, does not have to be paid minimum wage. Migrant farmworkers are not exempt.…

Posted by internet_jen on December 31, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Yup, we're pretty fuckin' awesome. Meanwhile, in Australia the federal minimum wage is around US$16.60 an hour, they have national single-payer health insurance and a standard four-week paid vacation, and the unemployment rate is around 5.2%. But still -- pretty fuckin' awesome, right?
Posted by PCM on December 31, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Who doesn't get that minimum wage? Do farm workers get it? Do tipped employees get it? Do teens get it?
Posted by Charlie Mas on December 31, 2012 at 5:08 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 12
Is Linda Derschang going to cut more employee benefits now to get back her $0.15 per hour? She axed employee meals to pay for Obamacare, right? Was there anything for her to cut after that?

I'm not saying boycott Oddfellows and Smith or... or well, maybe I am saying that. The woman's favorite book is Atlas Shrugged and it shows, doesn't it?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on December 31, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this

All assets should be taxed...above a threshold.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 31, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
watchout5 10
You know what it means to me? Freedom. The freedom to tell my current job to shove it knowing that at the very least, some other employer must offer me at least $9.19 an hour. It would suck to take a pay hit, but at that price the idea of getting stuck in a job that wouldn't let me live is pretty much gone. I might not be able to save as much as I did before but that's the risk I'd be taking. I take those risks gladly. If I had to choose between my life and my job? I'd feel trapped. That's the least amount of freedom anyone can have. To be trapped in a job because without the income you'd die and you know that no one else will pay you enough to live. Well, almost, there's here. :)
Posted by watchout5 on December 31, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
#5 I was making a comment about the unemployment rate calculation not the wage. Try to pay attention.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 31, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
The maximum wage rate should be 40 times the minimum wage rate.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this

The minimum wage should be $25 an hour.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on December 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
@2 - considering that the higher minimum wage in WA is linked to inflation and not unemployment rates, your Heritage Foundation propaganda is moot.
Posted by SuperSteve on December 31, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
@2 man, you are going to be so surprised as the (smaller) Baby Boom wave continues to retire more and more and more .. and leave the work force.

The Millenial boomlet is actually bigger than the Baby Boom, but the Powers That Be don't care about young people, so the MSM never reports that fact.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
douchus 3
The minimum wage is a job killer in that it is too low. People can't afford to consume at the level our economy requires when they're paid that little. Raise that bitch up, muddafahkers!
Posted by douchus on December 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 2
Good news for minimum wage workers, but here's the truth about the unemployment rate: "The only reason that the unemployment rate fell was because more people dropped out of the labor market than actually found jobs." So the higher minimum wage has nothing to do with jobs being created or destroyed. Go figure.…
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 31, 2012 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 1
Think of all those wages flowing into the state, county, and municipal governments, in our sales tax based economy. Most people making minimum wage rent, so forget about property tax impacts.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this

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