Once again, the Minimum Wage is increasing in our State effective January 1, 2015.  The current rate is $9.32 and it is being raised .15 cents to $9.47.  Below I have copied directly from the Labor and Industries website the rationale and reasoning for the increase.  Since 1998 the State minimum wage has been increased every year.  Is it possible that the wage increases impact the very metric it is tied to?  Wouldn’t that be something?  Sort of self-sustaining, closed loop, mutually supporting subsystem!

Regardless of the politics of this, the point of this email is to inform you that we must comply and we will be making the adjustment to wages accordingly.  We will not use this as an opportunity to “grab margin” as we have heard other agencies doing.  Your spread between pay rates and bill rates will remain as is.

Of concern, however, is the pay rates of those employees that are currently making around $9.50 as there will only be a three cent difference between that rate and a brand new employee or temporary worker.  We are advising our clients to move the $9.50 wage rate to $9.65 providing enough buffer to avoid compression on either side ($9.47 and $10.00).  This maintains the same competitive hiring advantage above the minimum wage rate.  Clients may also want to move the $10.00/hour rate to $10.20 to maintain the spread and the competitive advantage.

As you may know, the unemployment rate has been dropping, we are at an 8 year low.  This means that employers are now competing for good employees.  Pay can make a difference in the ability to attract and retain the people that you need to grow your business.  But pay is not the only thing.  Employees don’t quit the company, they quit their manager/supervisor.  Now would be an excellent time to assess the quality of your leaders and give them some training to improve their communication, coaching, and human interaction skills.  I have included our most recent newsletter  which speaks to the issue of proper “on-boarding” of new hires.

We have recently re-tooled our website to better explain New Era HR Solutions capabilities and services.  Please take a look or simply give us a call 253-887-0746.

We hope that you have a fun-filled, safe Holiday Season.

Team New Era HR


From Labor & Industries

Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998, requires L&I to make a cost-of-living adjustment to its minimum wage each year based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). This measures the average change in prices on a fixed group of goods and services such as food, shelter, medical care, transportation and other goods and services people purchase for day-to-day living. L&I recalculates the state’s minimum wage in September, and it takes effect the following year on January 1.

In 2014, Washington has the highest state minimum wage. The next highest is Oregon ($9.10).

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