Labor & Employment

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More Bad News for Small Businesses

September 28, 2012 in Blog

The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced today the state’s minimum wage will increase in 2013 from the current $9.04 to $9.19 per hour. 

Washington State already has the highest minimum wage in the nation.  The new increase ensures the state will hold on to that dubious honor. 

Washington Policy Center hosting regional business forums

September 25, 2012 in In the News
Bellingham Business Journal
Bellingham Business Journal
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Employers Should Have Choices for Workers' Compensation Insurance

On September 20, WPC small business director Erin Shannon appeared on TVW's show The Impact to discuss the state's monopoly Workers' Compensation system and why the market should be opened so employers have choices in where to purchase such insurance. Watch the interview below and read more about the issue in WPC's recent Workers' Comp. report.

L&I’s 10-Year Plan: A Double-Digit Tax Hike

September 21, 2012 in Blog

On the heels of L&I’s unexpected announcement that average workers’ compensation tax rates will not increase in 2013, department officials are trying to assure businesses they will not face a double-digit tax hike in the future by shifting an increase from an election year (now) to a non-election year in near the future.

But a double-digit increase is exactly what is in store for employers over the next decade.

Washington Policy Center's Testimony on State Auditor's Regulatory Reform Audit

On September 19th, WPC small business director Erin Shannon testified before the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee on the State Auditor's recent report finding lawmakers have a long way to go in easing the regulatory burden they place on businesses. Watch Erin's testimony below and read more about the issue.

Will voters support tax increase for public-employee compensation improvements?

September 18, 2012 in Blog

With news that state employee unions are on the verge of approving their 2013-15 contracts with Governor Gregoire, an interesting questions comes to mind: Will voters support increasing taxes to pay for public-employee compensation improvements?

L&I Kicks the Can Down the Road Another Year

September 17, 2012 in Blog

Today the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced it will not increase average workers’ compensation rates in 2013.  L&I has increased workers’ compensation taxes by 66% over the past 12 years.

In Chicago, Charter School Teachers are Not on Strike

September 12, 2012 in Blog

As the burgeoning teachers strike closed schoolhouse doors across the Windy City Monday, parents of 350,000 students scrambled to secure daycare or make other arrangements while their children’s education is delayed.  No one knows how long the strike will last, or what the lasting impact will be on Chicago school kids. 

Regulatory Audit Concludes State Must Do More to Ease Regulatory Burden

September 7, 2012 in Blog

The day I was in Portland participating in NFIB’s Small Business Conference on government regulations and their impact on small businesses, the State Auditor’s Office released a Performance Audit on regulations in Washington state.

Did Your Teen Find a Summer Job?

September 6, 2012 in Publications


The problem of stubbornly high unemployment continues to dominate the policy debate both nationally and in Washington state. Holding steady at 8.5%, Washington’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average and is 14th highest in the nation.

Young workers in Washington fare even worse. Our state’s teen unemployment rate is tied for sixth highest among the fifty states at 28.7%. The national teen unemployment rate is 23.8%.