University of Washington Seattle Minimum Wage Study: 6,700 Jobs Lost

University of Washington Seattle Minimum Wage Study: 6,700 Jobs Lost and Annual Wages Down $1,500

Results from my alma mater the University of Washington Seattle minimum wage study are out. For some it's not what some expected or anticipated. I noticed the new kiosks at the McDonald's in the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport awhile ago so the results were not shocking to me:

McDonalds Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Minimum wages in Seattle increased from $11 in 2015 to $13 in 2016 and $15 in 2017 for large employers.


The UW study found that higher minimum wages caused a 9.4% reduction to total hours worked by low-skilled workers.  Given that a full-time employee works 2,080 hours per year, that's equivalent to over 6,700 full-time equivalents who have lost their jobs.

The UW study also found that the average low-wage employee was paid $1,897 per month. The reduction in work hours would cost the average employee $179 per month while the wage increase would recoup only $54 of this loss leaving a net loss of $125 per month (6.6%). For the year this totals a $1,500 loss which is significant to a low-wage worker.

As rents and housing prices continue to escalate in King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County, we will see how low-wage workers deal with this burden which is a heavy one.

If you are a first-time home buyer and would like a list of homes for sale in your price range, contact Lana and she will send a list of homes for sale to you via email.

Contact her at 206-445-8034.

Lana Robbins, Managing Broker, Realtor ®

Phone (206) 445-8034
Email: Lana (at)

Ed Hinman, Vice President

Phone (206) 445-8034

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I saw another, earlier, study which came to the opposite conclusion.  This one makes more sense to me and is what I would expect to occur.  It will be interesting to see the longer term results, rather than these initial short terms studies.

Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 1 year ago