Most Seattle Businesses Plan To Stay And Comply With $15 Wage Law | KUOW News and Information

Most Seattle Businesses Plan To Stay And Comply With $15 Wage Law

Apr 18, 2016

Seattle's $15 minimum wage law doesn't fully take effect until 2021, but a new report gives a glimpse of its impacts so far.

The City Council was briefed Monday on a study done through the University of Washington which shows 80 percent of employers questioned plan to comply with the law and raise their wages. But 11 out of 100 businesses plan to withdraw from Seattle and/or contract out their work.

More KUOW: Why Is There So Much Prostitution On Aurora Avenue In Seattle?

Jennie Romich from UW's School of Social Work helped present those findings.

Romich: "You know, this is what employers said they would do. When we asked whether they had specific locations in mind for those who did say they plan to leave the city, it seemed like it was equally split between vague plans of 'I might want to relocate' and some specific plans."

She says it's not yet clear how many have moved their work out of Seattle.

More KUOW: The Tiny Dancer Who Became a Big Star in Seattle

The study also suggests the minimum wage increase hasn't made Seattle more expensive. Seattle's retail, gas, groceries and rent costs have increased at the same rates as King County as a whole. The exception is restaurant prices – those are going up faster in Seattle.

The $15 law will be phased in over several years.