The new minimum-wage law is raising pay for Seattle’s low-paid workers without hurting jobs, according to a report from economists at UC Berkeley.
Seattle was one of the first municipalities in the country to enact a gradual minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour. The minimum wage increased to $10 or $11 per hour, depending on business size, on April 1, 2015. A second round of increases, including a $13 minimum for some large businesses, took effect on Jan. 1, 2016. In 2017, hourly minimum wages for workers in Seattle range between $11 and $15 an hour. The full $15 minimum wage will be phased in for all workers in the city by 2021.
The Seattle report is the first in a series of studies by the UC Berkeley researchers, who are examining other U.S. cities that have significantly raised their minimum wage. Studies of Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and New York City will follow.