New $19 minimum wage passes in Tukwila

Nov 10, 2022, 12:11 PM | Updated: 12:33 pm

minimum wage...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

It was a landslide in Tukwila. A $19 minimum wage is coming to the area.

About 83% of voters approved the ordinance in the midterm elections. Initiative Measure #1 would bring the Tukwila minimum wage in line with SeaTac’s.

According to Raise the Wage Tukwila, large employers with over 500 employees worldwide would raise the minimum wage to match SeaTac’s $18.99 in July 2023.

There is a cost-of-living adjustment every year after that.

For other employers, the higher minimum wage phases in over three years:

  • In July 2023, the minimum wage rises to the rate for large employers minus $2.

  • In July 2024, the minimum wage rises to the rate for large employers minus $1.

  • In July 2025, the minimum wage rises to match the rate for large employers.

The smallest employers are exempt from the minimum wage.

Seattle minimum wage increases to $18.69 an hour

The minimum wage in Seattle in 2023 will be between $16.50 and $18.69, depending on the job. The state minimum wage will be $15.74 next year.

There was no organized opposition to the measure in Tukwila.

SeaTac recently announced that its 2023 minimum wage for transportation and hospitality workers will be $19.06 per hour. The statewide minimum wage next year will be $15.74.

According to Chron, one of the pros of a minimum wage is that “it helps people at the bottom of the economy survive.”

Those who like a minimum wage argue if workers have more money, they spend more money. “This boosts the economy and benefits businesses in their community. Workers who are not at the edge of starvation or at risk of becoming homeless are also happier and more productive,” Chron said.

A higher minimum wage also helps reduce some of the inequality in society. “Bottom-rung jobs in the economy employ a large number of Black people, Latinos, and women,” Chron said.

Many employers say that if they have to pay a higher minimum wage, their profits go down. The end result could be businesses closing, firing employees, or cutting their hours.

CNBC says Seattle, which began increasing the minimum wage above ​$7.25​ in 2014, is a laboratory for the effects of minimum wage. “Unfortunately, different economic studies have produced different conclusions. As Seattle has a strong, growing economy, any conclusions reached there may not apply elsewhere.”

An affordable minimum wage in Seattle might be outrageous in a rural town with a flatlined economy.

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New $19 minimum wage passes in Tukwila