Sep 30, 201101:37 PMBlog

WPC: Rising minimum wage hurts unemployed

Sep 30, 2011 - 01:37 PM
Washington Policy Center says the state's decision to raise the minimum wage to $9.04 beginning Jan. 1 is bad news for the unemployed, young and inexperienced workers.

The center says the increase will raise the costs to operate a business and limit the number of jobs available in the already tight job market - and will likely lead to even more workers forced into unemployment. Washington's unemployment rate is 9.3 percent.
WPC has made several recommendations that it believes would improve the working environment and business climate for our state. Leaders in Olympia could help workers by:

• Decouple automatic minimum wage increases from the Puget Sound Consumer Price Index to reflect the true cost of living across the state.

• Delay automatic increases in years when state unemployment is higher than the national average.

• Allow restaurants to count tip income as part of normal minimum wage earnings, so employment costs in one industry are not artificially inflated.

• Refrain from imposing mandatory "living wage" controls, whether or not directed at a particular industry.

Click here to read the center's "L&I Hurts Small Businesses, Young Workers, with Decision to Raise Minimum Wage" report.


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