A minimum wage
initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot could boost pay for thousands
of low-wage Kitsap County workers, according to analysis by a
But nailing down exactly how many jobs would be affected if the
initiative passed is no easy task.
Initiative 1433 would incrementally increase the state’s
minimum wage from the current $9.47 an hour to $13.50 an hour in
To help understand the implications of the initiative,
state Employment Security
Department economist Scott Bailey created a
hypothetical scenario in which a $13.50 minimum wage was applied to
2015 labor markets in each county. He used a $12.23 minimum wage to
account for inflation between 2015 and 2020.
For job and wage data,
Bailey turned to a database
of quarterly wage records.
The records include most jobs covered by unemployment
insurance, but exclude federal jobs, private household
employment like nannying, and home health care workers.
Bailey also noted the records capture three-month periods,
which makes it difficult to create
an exact point-in-time job count, since individuals move
in and out of labor markets, and many jobs are short-term.
With all those caveats in mind, here were key takeaways
from Bailey’s analysis of Kitsap County’s labor market in 2015:
— Somewhere between 3 percent and 6 percent of
non-federal jobs in Kitsap paid minimum wage ($9.47, plus or
minus 18 cents).
— Somewhere between 19 percent and 26 percent of
non-federal jobs paid less than $12.23 an hour (the equivalent of
$13.50 in 2020). That was between 9,000 and 19,000
— Jobs paying less than $12.23 an hour accounted for 8
percent of Kitsap’s non-federal payroll.
— Payroll would have to increase by about 1.2 percent to
meet the minimum wage requirement under 1433, a change of about
Bailey also took a statewide look at what industries would
most be affected by the minimum wage hike, again
using 2015 labor market numbers.
This chart shows the percentage of jobs by industry paying less
than $12.23 an hour (the equivalent of $13.50 in 2020):