No on I-1433
Keep Washington Competitive.
Protect Our Communities.
A POORLY CRAFTED PROPOSAL
We do need a minimum wage that benefits everyone – workers, consumers and small business owners – a wage that considers different costs of living across the state, the unique pay structures of certain jobs, and the need for a training wage for new workers. Unfortunately, I-1433 is a poorly crafted proposal that will do more harm than good for workers and the Washington economy.
SEATTLE HASN’T DELIVERED
Seattle passed a $15 per hour minimum wage with a gradual phase-in. Seattle’s vibrant economy led by high- paying tech jobs has improved, but minimum wage earners are not benefitting.
Even the City of Seattle’s own economists acknowledge the initial increase to $11 per hour has not benefitted workers. While average pay per hour rose, workers are getting fewer hours and there are fewer jobs available. Meanwhile, consumers are paying more for less. Big business is able to adjust, but small businesses are hurting and leaving the city.
DOESN’T WORK FOR THE REST OF THE STATE
A recent University of Washington study discovered most communities around our state can’t absorb a 30% increase in the minimum wage. This means fewer jobs and small businesses, steeper prices in stores, and less opportunity for young people to obtain work experience.
A RISK WE CAN’T AFFORD
Washington State already has the 8th highest minimum wage in the country with a built-in cost of living adjustment every year. Adding new mandates and jumping the minimum wage by 30% is a risk that workers, consumers and small businesses can’t afford.
WRONG APPROACH ON SICK LEAVE
Although sick and safe leave are important issues, the one-size-fits-all approach of this initiative ignores diverse employment situations, such as the intermittent work patterns common in the construction industry. Unions and commercial contractors for decades have addressed sick leave without government interference.
Initiative 1433 leaves employers without a clear expectation of what they must do; unlike other city ordinances, such as Tacoma, where there is a cap on the amount of days that can be taken. The initiative implies that beginning in 2018 employers will be required to offer leave that can be rolled over year-after-year.
HARMS YOUTH EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Entry-level jobs are the cornerstone for Washingtonians entering the workforce. For every year people work in their teens their income rises 14-16% in their twenties. President Obama’s Proposal for New ‘First Job’ funding acknowledges, “people who are unemployed between 16-24 earn $400,000 less over their careers.” Initiative 1433 reduces the ability of youth to find jobs and gain valuable experience. As seen in Seattle, there are fewer job opportunities available. The problem will be even worse in smaller communities.
TOO MUCH AT ONCE
The combined impact of paid-leave requirements and minimum wage increases, instituted at once, is a costly shock wave to employers who already face an excess of mandates. Small businesses will have to adjust, but those adjustments will hurt all of us; higher prices, fewer hours for workers, fewer job opportunities, and less young people acquiring work experience. Instead, we need a thoughtful, middle-ground approach that considers all of the impacts and works to help everyone enjoy more opportunity.
How are employers in Seattle responding to the new minimum wage law?
Source: The Seattle Minimum Wage Study Team, University of Washington, April 2016
HURTS THE STATE BUDGET
taxes raised by I-1433 through 2022
state spending increase by I-1433 through 2022
Source: Fiscal Impact Statement for I-1433, Office of Financial Management