As part of a larger set of projects exploring local minimum wage laws, my Minimum Wage Study team at the University of Washington put out a report examining employer and worker perspectives at baseline. There are several interesting findings, even as we just are learning of the broader impact and consequences.

The majority of Seattle employers surveyed (92.1%) were aware of the Ordinance in Spring 2015, yet at that time were less certain about how the Ordinance phased in and what the correct wage rates were. Seattle employers most commonly reported responding or planning to respond to the Ordinance by raising wages for Seattle employees, raising prices on goods and services, and increasing wages for employees earning between $11-$15/hour. Similarly, nearly all the workers interviewed knew about the Seattle Minimum Wage ordinance, but most had vague or incorrect knowledge. Those aware of the law generally had positive or ambivalent opinions, and many workers expressed doubt that the law would fundamentally alter their financial situations. More detailed analysis can be found here.

Written by Scott W. Allard