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 places||21.7%||33.0%|
|Accommodation and food services||12.6%||18.1%|
|Child day care services||6.9%||13.1%|
|Fruit and tree nut farming||16.9%||12.1%|
|Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting||12.3%||11.4%|
|Arts, entertainment and recreation||5.2%||9.4%|
|Temporary help agencies||0.7%||5.2%|
|General merchandise stores||3.4%||3.4%|
|Administrative and support and waste management services||1.1%||3.2%|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||2.6%||2.2%|
|Health care and social assistance||1.1%||1.7%|
|Transportation and warehousing||0.5%||1.3%|
|Professional, scientific and technical services||0.3%||0.4%|
|Finance and insurance||0.2%||0.4%|
|Management of companies and enterprises||0.2%||0.3%|