Chicken Little predictions already proven wrong just one year after Seattle minimum wage signed into law

Lesson for other cities & states considering higher wages — very same businesses that predicted disaster a year ago are now hiring, expanding, and reinvesting as Seattle economy grows stronger

A year ago today, Mayor Murray signed the nation’s first citywide $15 minimum wage into law. And despite dire predictions that the city would collapse into an economic wasteland, the sky remains aloft. 

In fact, in just the last year, many of the very same business owners and others who predicted devastation are now hiring and even expanding their business operations in the city:

None of these confident, year-old predictions about economic devastation have come to pass. Quite the opposite. Seattle remains one of the fastest-growing large cities in the country. Unemployment is low. And new restaurants are opening every day. But that hasn’t stopped business lobby groups from trying to pull the same sky-is-falling routine across Washington and across the country as more cities and states debate raising wages. 

There’s no reason for anyone to treat these kinds of threats as credible any longer. A year after Seattle’s $15 law was signed into law, it’s true that there hasn’t yet been time yet for businesses to really see the benefit of increased consumer demand from 100,000 people having more money to put back into the economy. But one thing is abundantly clear: the sky remains aloft.


Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington,