Tags: Minimum Wage | minimum wage | difference | living wage | seattle

What's The Difference Between Minimum Wage and Living Wage in Seattle?

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 03:25 PM

Washington is one of 29 states in the country to have a higher minimum wage than the $7.25 an hour federal mandate. The Evergreen state rate currently sits at $9.47 and has enjoyed annual indexed increases since Jan. 1, 2001, thanks to a 1998 ballot measure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The city of Seattle has gone even higher for its workers, when Mayor Ed Murray signed a City Council passed ordinance to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, phased in over time. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees have seven years to bump up wages, while larger employers must get there in three.

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Amid the enthusiasm of more income for the city's minimum-wage earners came reports of some businesses reducing their workforce, reports Forbes or closing as a result.

Seattle's minimum wage is higher than the calculated living wage for an adult without children in the Seattle City, King County area, which comes in at $9.64 an hour, according to a living wage calculation conducted by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The report defines living wage as, "The hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2,080 hours per year)."

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Kids complicate the math, as one child means that single adult will need to earn $20.53 an hour, according to MIT. A second child boosts that amount to $24.76. An adult with one child would need to make $42,711 a year before taxes to pay for essentials such as food, housing, transportation and child care.

A significant gap exists between professional positions and other workers in some service industries, the report states. People in the management, financial, computer, engineering and legal fields easily meet the living wage threshold for one adult supporting one child.

Those in the farming, fishing, forestry and food-service industries, as well as those who provide personal services, earn less than $12 an hour, on average, which keeps them below the living wage for one adult supporting one child, the analysis said.

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Washington is one of 29 states in the country to have a higher minimum wage than the $7.25 an hour federal mandate. The Evergreen State rate currently sits at $9.47 and has enjoyed annual indexed increases since Jan. 1, 2001, thanks to a 1998 ballot measure.
minimum wage, difference, living wage, seattle
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2015-25-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 03:25 PM
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