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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 4, 2009 at 8:10 AM

Washington minimum-wage increase

Make them earn it

Like minimum-wage increases in the past, this will only increase the unemployment of young teens and potential entry-level job positions [“State’s minimum wage rises to $8.55 an hour,” News, Jan. 1].

I owned a custom manufacturing company in Seattle. Whenever the mandatory minimum wage is increased, a business owner will avoid hiring the unskilled. One would possibly no longer hire high-school or college students for summer jobs.

The pay increase, too, may exceed the starting wage of trade-union training programs. A beginning apprentice is paid by the union starting pay scale while being taught by a skilled journeyman.

Of course, to qualify, the trainee must be able to read, write and communicate and know basic mathematics.

The crux of the problem, I believe, could be the vast number of uneducated people in our society who would like to earn more money despite, perhaps, having dropped out of high school before acquiring necessary skills.

— Donald Bearwood, Florence Ariz.

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