Seattle Leads the Nation in Highest Minimum Wage

The City of Seattle, Washington, is currently leading the nation by mandating that businesses pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour. The wage increase, which will affect more than 100,000 employees, will be phased in over a number of years. Seattle residents are stating that the Seattle City Council’s historic vote to raise the minimum wage could change their lives. According to one young McDonald’s employee, the higher wage will mean she can move out of her parent’s house and go back to school.

As described in USA Today, “the plan, which includes a lower training wage aimed at teenagers, will phase in the higher, local minimum over three to seven years, depending on the size of the business and benefits they provide employees. Next April 1, when the plan takes effect, every worker will get at least a $1-an-hour raise.”

Business groups initially balked at the plan but were able to reach a compromise with the City Council. Said City Councilman Nick Licata: “Seattle, and other cities, are taking direct action to close our nation’s huge income gap because the federal and state governments have failed to do so. . . . By significantly raising the minimum wage, Seattle’s prosperity will be shared by more people and create a sustainable model for continued growth.”