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

Washington’s teen unemployment rate is 10th highest in the nation…Idaho’s is 10th lowest

February 5, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee heard testimony on two bills addressing our state’s high teen unemployment rate. 

Washington has struggled for over a decade with one of the nation’s highest teen unemployment rates.  Since 2002, well before the recession, in all but one year Washington ranked among the top ten states with the highest teen unemployment.  Washington also has had the nation’s highest minimum wage.  A multitude of studies show there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two.

Equal Pay Bill would put employers in cross hairs

February 5, 2015 in Blog

In my previous blog, “Do Women Really Earn Less than Men for the Same Work?” I explained why claims that women earn 80% less than men are inaccurate.

Once other factors are considered, such as hours worked, extended absences from work and type of employment, women actually earn 97-cents for every dollar earned by their male counterpart.  And single women with no children actually earn 8% more than men.

Do Women Really Earn Less than Men for the Same Work?

February 5, 2015 in Blog

Earlier this week, I was invited to testify before the House Labor Committee on HB 1646, legislation enacting the “Equal Pay Opportunity Act.” 

Supporters of HB 1646 claim women who work full-time earn 80% less than men working the same job.

But this claim does not take into consideration a number of factors that influence male and female wages.  

WSJ opines America is becoming like Europe…and not in a good way

January 27, 2015 in Blog

The Wall Street Journal published an outstanding editorial on the consequences of following in Europe’s footsteps by mandating unsustainably high wages for entry-level jobs.   The editorial concludes America is “becoming more like Europe, with an economy unwelcoming to the unskilled and unprivileged trying to find an entry into the world of work.”

I’ve included the entire editorial below, but here is the CliffsNotes version:

Forbes magazine highlights minimum wage panel at WPC Solutions Summit

January 27, 2015 in Blog

A column in the February issue of Forbes magazine on the minimum wage features the panelists from WPC’s small business panel at the recent WPC Solutions Summit.  Noting that Seattle is “ground zero” in the minimum wage war, the column, “The Real Minimum Wage: Zero,” details the compelling remarks of two of the panelists—former Starbucks president Howard Behar and small business owner Taylor Hoang—in response to Seattle’s $15 minimum wage:

With a $1.5 billion annual price tag, it's no wonder unions want special exemption from paid leave bills

January 26, 2015 in Blog

The House Labor Committee is considering paid sick leave and paid vacation bills.  Let’s examine the costs these mandates would impose on the non-union businesses that would be required to provide them.

HB 1356 would require employers with 5 or more employees to pay employees for 5, 7 or 9 days of sick leave per year, depending on the size of the company. 

Bills imposing paid sick leave, paid vacation and triple pay for working Thanksgiving=hypocrisy, hypocrisy and more hypocrisy

January 26, 2015 in Blog

What do bills mandating paid sick leave (HB 1356), paid vacation (HB 1163) and triple pay for employees who work on Thanksgiving Day (HB 1694) have in common?  Besides increasing the costs for employers, all three bills exempt workers from these benefits if they are a union member.

Spokane group preps to push “Worker Bill of Rights”

January 26, 2015 in Blog

The labor-backed group Envision Spokane is reportedly working on a “Worker Bill of Rights” for the City of Spokane.  Founded by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Envision Spokane is comprised of more than two-dozen unions, community organizations and groups with ties to national organizations.

Two minimum wage bills, same result

January 23, 2015 in Blog

The battle to increase the state’s minimum wage is in full swing in the Legislature.  In just the second week of the Legislative Session, two bills have already been introduced to require employers to pay every worker a higher minimum wage.