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October 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Raising the minimum wage to this level would be devastating to immigrant-owned small businesses.
On Nov. 5, SeaTac will consider whether to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for some airport and hospitality workers with Proposition 1. Efforts are under way to raise the same issue in Seattle. Mayor Mike McGinn, who is running for re-election, has already made it an issue in a zoning permit spat with Whole Foods in Seattle. In fact, he would like to raise it even higher in Seattle. His challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray, has also indicated support for the $15 level. (Read both sides of the debate in Tuesday’s Pro/Con on Prop. 1. Our editorial board recommends a no vote on Proposition 1 in an editorial.)
And while the current ballot issue only affects SeaTac, the next stop for the minimum-wage campaign is Seattle.
Supporters of the $15 campaign say it would help low-income people and families working in these jobs. That presumes poor people are a monolithic group, all of whom want to work those jobs for the rest of their lives. (more…)
September 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM
My column in Thursday’s Seattle Times editorial page connects a growth of co-working spaces in Seattle with the millennial generation’s entrepreneurial spirit. Work force habits are evolving. When creative minds gather, innovation thrives.
Are businesses paying attention? They should if they want to stay competitive and keep workers from venturing out on their own. Today’s employees place more value on flexibility, interaction and connectivity. Providing some privacy is still important, too.
I highlighted two co-working spaces in the column: Makers in Belltown and Impact Hub Seattle in Pioneer Square. The Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance maintains a list of more than 20 other shared offices throughout the region. Each space is different and caters to a work force that is mobile and growing by the day.
- According to a 2010 Intuit study, 40 percent of Americans — or 60 million people — will be independent contractors or freelancers by 2020. This “contingency” work force will alter labor costs and change talent pools.
- The Freelancers Union reports one-third of the workforce, or 42 million, is already self-employed.
- The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports the number of temporary or contract workers nationwide increased 29 percent between 2009 and 2012.
- MBO Partners released its third annual study this week estimating that by 2020, roughly half of American workers will spend time at some point in their careers working independently.
Full-time jobs with full-time benefits may become more scarce. As more people venture out on their own, they will form support networks. Co-working spaces provide a low-cost option for start-ups and freelancers who may not always want to work alone at home in their pajamas.
My parents’ generation was all about longevity and settling in jobs for the long haul. That mindset is shifting quickly among the millennial generation.
For a look inside Makers, check out the slideshow below from my Instagram feed:
And here’s an interesting infographic by MBO Partners, a resource for independent workers:
April 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM
The editorial writers have been debating which generation has it worst: millennials, Gen X or baby boomers?
Is it the millennials because they graduated from college into the Great Recession with no jobs and loads of student debt, which I wrote about in my column? Is it Generation X, who may be left holding the bag on Social Security, as Jonathan Martin suggested in his column? Or are baby boomers, as Bruce Ramsey outlined in his blog post, just as worse off as everybody else?
The discussion prompted a secondary debate about which movie best represented each generation. These are our nominations, with trailers:
Generation X: “Singles”
April 4, 2013 at 6:33 AM
My Thursday column is a millennial voter’s manifesto for 2013, and how engaging in politics regularly is the only way younger people can change their dismal job prospects. It’s rarely mentioned in the unemployment reports that even as general unemployment has dipped slowly to 7.7 percent, for 20- to 24-year-olds unemployment is 13.1 percent.
One of the most disheartening economic trends I found while researching the column was that younger generations are no longer wealthier than previous ones, according to a March Urban Institute report.
Here is a chart that illustrates what’s happened to wealth accumulation in each generation.
Providence Journal columnist Froma Harrop wrote about the Urban Institute study in a Mar. 19 column and said that there’s more to life than money. True, up to a point.
There are people in Seattle right now trying to decide between buying groceries and paying the water bill. Seattle City Council member Jean Godden wrote about them in this Mar. 11 op-ed “Get clean water to children of Seattle’s struggling families.”
In my column I alluded to living on beans and stealing toilet paper. That was when I was a three-year intern reporter at The Seattle Times and I made less than $25,000 a year. I led a frugal life. I shared an apartment with a roommate. I had no car payment, thanks to the gift of a used car from my parents. I was repaying $30,000 in student loans. I had trouble finding money in my budget to buy meat at Safeway, and sometimes, toilet paper.
I was definitely happier when I got a raise.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy three-ply.