Seattle Sets Country's Highest Minimum Wage
Seattle mayor Ed Murray announced a plan Thursday to increase the minimum wage in Seattle to at least $15 per hour. The wage increase would be gradual, but all employees would be paid at least $15 per hour by 2021; large businesses would be required to pay $15 per hour by 2017. Once all employees reach a wage of $15 per hour, the minimum wage will rise at the rate of inflation.
Lifting Workers Out of Poverty
The federal poverty level for a family of four in the United States is $23,850 and $11,670 for an individual. At the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, full time employees make around $15,000 per year, which is below the poverty line for the aveage four person household. Seattle's new wage will pay minimum wage employees approximately $30,000 per year, which is enough to keep a family out of poverty. This is huge.
Low-wage earners across America are often disheartened by the fact that despite their efforts they cannot afford basic necessities. $15 per hour is much more reasonable than $7.25 and should empower workers in Seattle to live decent lives.