KING-5 TV recently reported that the minimum-wage increase to $15 per hour in the city of SeaTac, which took effect at the start of 2014, has had minimal impact on its businesses and sales and property taxes.
Because the law affects only 1,500 hotel employees — 400 of whom live in the city — business owners haven’t needed to cut back on employees, big benefits and services as they thought they would. In fact, the Cedarbrook Lodge is expanding by 63 rooms and paying its workers the new minimum wage, according to the KING-5 TV story.
The end result in Seattle will be vastly different when it begins its phased-in implementation of the minimum-wage increase in April. Seattle is a major metropolitan city, with thousands more affected businesses and workers and a much higher cost of living. We can’t expect it to be as calm an outcome as it has been in SeaTac, because there’s one factor among the variables that no economic forecaster can predict: people’s apprehensions about their pocketbooks.