How many earn minimum wage in Snohomish County?

  • Fri Feb 7th, 2014 7:02pm
  • News

Reported by Chuck Taylor / Herald Writer

Following SeaTac’s vote last year to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, union activists and politicians here and elsewhere have adopted the issue. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase Washington’s minimum wage — already highest in the nation — from $9.32 per hour to $12. So how many jobs would be affected?

These numbers are derived from full-time equivalency, not actual people or jobs. That’s the way the state Employment Security Department tracks these data.

“What this means is that hours are counted rather than individual jobs,” said Anneliese Vance-Sherman, the regional economist for the agency in Everett. “Part-time or seasonal jobs are combined into units equivalent to full time. Likewise, jobs that exceed 40 hours per week full-time get counted as more than one unit.”

That said, roughly 3 percent of Washington employment — 67,037 FTEs — was minimum-wage work in 2012. That increased from 2 percent in 2001.

In Snohomish County in 2012, there were 4,907 minimum-wage FTEs. That’s 2.3 percent of all FTEs in the county, quite a bit below the 3 percent statewide but not as low as King County’s 1.5 percent.

Rural counties — those that aren’t part of a designated metropolitan area — tend to have a greater proportion of minimum-wage FTEs — 5.3 percent when those rural counties’ numbers are combined.

Minimum-wage jobs in Washington

By sector, the percentage of full-time-equivalent jobs that pay minimum wage.

Limited-service eating places21.7%33.0%
Gasoline stations9.5%19.2%
Accommodation and food services12.6%18.1%
Child day care services6.9%13.1%
Fruit and tree nut farming16.9%12.1%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting12.3%11.4%
Arts, entertainment and recreation5.2%9.4%
Full-service restaurants9.2%9.4%
Retail trade3.0%5.3%
Grocery stores2.9%5.3%
Temporary help agencies0.7%5.2%
Other services2.2%3.6%
General merchandise stores3.4%3.4%
Administrative and support and waste management services1.1%3.2%
Real estate and rental and leasing2.6%2.2%
Health care and social assistance1.1%1.7%
Transportation and warehousing0.5%1.3%
Educational services0.9%1.2%
Wholesale trade0.6%1.0%
Health care0.5%0.9%
Local government0.4%0.5%
Professional, scientific and technical services0.3%0.4%
Finance and insurance0.2%0.4%
Management of companies and enterprises0.2%0.3%
State government0.1%0.2%