Business Climate

WPC's Center for Small Business focuses on improving Washington's small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state's regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.

Business Climate Blog

The low-skill, minimum wage jobs praised by celebrity James Franco probably won't exist in the future

May 13, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday I blogged how actor James Franco is praising McDonalds for its readily-available and low-skill jobs.  Franco recounts how, as a struggling actor, he was desperate to earn money.  He had few skills (he had been fired from his previous jobs) and just needed a way to make some cash: “…just like their [McDonalds] food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need."

Celebrity defends McDonald's low-skill, low-wage jobs

May 12, 2015 in Blog

While McDonald's is vilified by the $15 minimum wage movement as the poster child for corporate greed and worker exploitation, one famous actor has a different perspective.

Last week actor, director, writer and college teacher James Franco authored an editorial in The Washington Post praising fast-food giant McDonalds for giving him a job when no one else would. 

Young workers have been left behind in Washington state

May 5, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday U.S. Senator Patty Murray editorialized that every worker in America deserves to earn a minimum wage of $12.  

Seattle business closes as a result of $15 minimum wage; Olympia lawmaker supports a $20 minimum wage

April 29, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday an article in the The Hill noted that Democrats in Congress are now pushing to increase the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour.

Spokane City Council may mandate paid sick leave on every business

April 23, 2015 in Blog

The Spokane City Council voted this week to establish a “work group” on mandatory paid sick leave. The goal of the group will be to eventually lead the city council toward adopting a mandatory paid sick leave policy for the city.

Is it ironic that union members say they need a $15 minimum wage?

April 16, 2015 in Blog

Activists across the state marched, rallied and protested yesterday in demand of a $15 minimum wage for all workers.  The demonstrations were part of an effort coordinated by Working Washington in the “Fight for $15” campaign.

The trade-offs of Seattle’s minimum wage hike

April 3, 2015 in Blog

While advocates of increasing the minimum wage claim it is a win-win for employers (because people will have more money to spend) and employees (who will earn a higher wage), the reality is much different.

Increasing the minimum wage comes with undeniable trade-offs. 

Senate Commerce & Labor Committee stops Washington from following Seattle over the minimum wage cliff

April 1, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday the chair of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, Senator Michael Baumgartner, did not advance HB 1355, legislation that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $12 over four years.

Senator Baumgartner said the measure would “be devastating to countless small businesses.”

Fewer workers impacted by Seattle's $15 wage than predicted in UW study, as UW refuses to pay new wage

March 26, 2015 in Blog

In the midst of last year’s raging debate over whether Seattle should increase the minimum wage to $15, a study by the University of Washington (UW) weighed in, finding 24% of Seattle workers would benefit from the wage hike.  Add in predictions of wage compression, whereby employers increase the wages of workers already making more than $15 in order to maintain the pay-scale hierarchy, and the UW study said one third of the city’s workers would benefit.

Seattle-style labor regulations aimed at Spokane

March 24, 2015 in Blog

Envision Spokane, a labor and enviro backed group, has filed an initiative to amend the City of Spokane’s charter to include a “Worker Bill of Rights.”  If approved by voters in November, the measure would impose a sweeping set of new labor mandates on Spokane employers.