wages

Robert Reich at the University of Iowa, Sep. 7, 2011
Wikipedia Photo

Former Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich visited Seattle recently to encourage supporters of the 15Now campaign and to try to win over skeptics.

Ross Reynolds talks with Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of fraud prevention and labor standards at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, about how the state is working to address worker misclassification and other types of wage fraud.

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Marcie Sillman talks with Jason Alcorn, associate director of Investigate West, about their new report into wage theft in Washington state and Seattle.

A new report shows rents are up in cities and metro areas across the country, as demand for apartments continue to exceed supply.

The average monthly apartment rent for the year’s second quarter was $1,099, up from $1,064 at the same time last year. The quarterly report from Reis, the real estate research firm, revealed that this was the 18th consecutive quarter of rent increases.

Dane Atkinson is a tech entrepreneur who started his first company at 17 and has run almost a dozen more since. He's so friendly that he manages to sound cheerful while explaining the art of hiring workers for as little money possible.

"I have on many occasions paid the exact same skill set wildly different fees because I was able to negotiate with one person better than another," he says.

Some employees were worth $70,000 a year, but only asked for $50,000 a year. So, he says, he paid them $50,000 a year.

David Hyde interviews Carl Adrian, president of the Tri-City Development Council. He has a message to Seattle entrepreneurs that want to relocate due to the hike in the minimum wage here: "We're open for business."

Amy Radil

The Seattle City Council took up Mayor Ed Murray’s minimum wage proposal Thursday. Labor leaders said they weren’t thrilled about the council's opening questions.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

As the Seattle City Council continues to debate a plan to phase in a $15 minimum wage, and as minimum wage advocates gather signatures to put an even stronger measure on the November ballot, businesses in the city are finding themselves in an uncomfortable position: in limbo.

Flickr Photo/University of Michigan's Ford School (CC-BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde interviews Jared Bernstein, former chief economist for the Obama Administration, about the proposed minimum wage hike in Seattle. 

Flickr Photo/Sally Clark

David Hyde talks to Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark about what happens next with the minimum wage proposal released by Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee Thursday.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

David Hyde talks with Erica C. Barnett, news editor at PubliCola, about what must happen next for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's minimum wage proposal to pass the City Council.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Marcie Sillman speaks with Jesse Lessinger, an organizer for 15Now, about Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's proposal to gradually increase the minimum wage.

The Planet Money men's T-shirt was made in Bangladesh, by workers who make about $3 a day, with overtime. The Planet Money women's T-shirt was made in Colombia, by workers who make roughly $13 a day, without overtime.

The wages in both places are remarkably low by U.S. standards. But the gap between them is huge. Workers in Colombia make more than four times what their counterparts make in Bangladesh. In our reporting, we saw that the workers in Colombia have a much higher standard of living than the workers in Bangladesh.

Flickr Photo/401 (K) 2013

Referred to as one of the most awkward conversations outside of a first date, asking for a raise is no walk in the park. There's an art to it. And in this economic climate where rent is skyrocketing and wages are stagnating, knowing how to ask for more money is a good skill to have. President of Career-Horizons, Matt Youngquist, teaches Ross Reynolds the art of salary negotiation.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

The US Census Bureau released numbers this week looking at poverty rates and wages across the US in 2012. Our local numbers reflect what’s happening around the country: the number of people living in poverty has stagnated and wages have stayed about the same.

At first glance, this may seem like good news, or even non-news. But the census numbers reveal a larger picture of what’s happening in the wake of the recession: that people in low and middle income brackets aren’t really experiencing a recovery.

Jennifer Romich is the director of the West Coast Poverty Center and an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work. She told KUOW's Marcie Sillman the "statistically insignificant" numbers from the Census Bureau paint a concerning picture of many people that are unable to get ahead financially.

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