In Seattle, many businesses must pay a minimum wage of at least $13 an hour. Now, a new study released says that law has left low-wage workers with less money in their pockets because some employers cut working hours.
As companies look for ways to cut costs, Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law may be hurting hourly workers instead of helping them, according to a new report.
A report from the University of Washington (UW), found that when wages increased to $13 in 2016, some companies may have responded by cutting low-wage workers’ hours. The study, which was funded in part by the city of Seattle, found that workers clocked 9% fewer hours on average, and earned $125 less each month after the most recent increase.
“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and an author of the report told the Seattle Times. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”
In 2014, Seattle City Council voted to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The minimum wage increased from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 2015, and to $13 in 2016, according to the report. Under the law, businesses must raise the minimum wage to $15 for all workers by 2021.
The study comes on the heels of a University of California – Berkeley report last week that found the law boosted restaurant workers’ pay without costing jobs.
Unlike the University of California study, the UW report examines low-wage workers across different sectors, not just restaurants, and was able to examine hours Seattle workers have worked since…