Higher minimum wage fails to attract workers | NO KIDDING ?!?!

Ok, for some reason this just strikes a ‘duh’ note with me.

Higher minimum wage in Washington fails to attract Idaho workers.

A minimum wage gap of more than $2 has failed to draw Idaho job applicants to the Spokane area. . .

With the start of the year, Washington’s minimum wage rose 14 cents to a national-high of $8.07 under a state initiative adopted in 1998. Idaho’s minimum wage remained at the federal level, $5.85 an hour.

The article says it’s because of a tight job market and employers taking pre-emptive action. Well, sort of. Actually, it’s calledmarket demand. First of all, employers within 10-15 minutes of the border (on the Idaho side) haven’t been paying anything close to minimum wage for a couple of years now, because the market has demanded this.

Mindy Ledbetter, manager at a Subway sandwich outlet in Liberty Lake, said she would expect to see more job applications from across the nearby the state line.

“You can go just five miles and make more money,” Ledbetter told The Spokesman-Review. “$5.85 compared to $8.07 – that’s huge.”

Where do they hire these managers? Isn’t it a managers responsibility to know what the competition is doing? Citing the minimum wage numbers shows zero knowledge of the employment market. As I mentioned earlier, employers haven’t been paying minimum wage for several years now. Basically, Ledbetter doesn’t get it. Employees don’t make $2.22 more by driving 5 miles farther. That is simply the difference in the mandated minimum wage not the difference in real wages.

“It’s only a 10-minute drive from Washington,” said Lynn Hayes, regional manager for three Zip’s restaurants. “We’d see a huge decrease in applications if we only paid $5.85 per hour.”

Because of the small pool of entry-level workers, most employers pay more than the minimum wage to draw qualified applicants, said Kathryn Tacke, formerly a regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor.

Exactly what we’ve been doing for a few years now.

Seattle Post

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