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  • 04.21.16

Seattle’s increased minimum wage has not inflated retail prices

And competition from Amazon is partly responsible for that. With Amazon headquartered in Seattle, some retailers simply cannot afford to up their prices. But it’s also true that, as public policy professor Jacob Vigdor told Co.Exist, Seattle can afford a higher minimum wage: 

“Seattle’s a pretty affluent town. San Francisco’s a pretty affluent town. New York City is an affluent town. In these sorts of places, you’re dealing with a lot of consumers who are already used to the idea that they’re going to pay a premium for their Fair Trade coffee… For that type of consumer, paying the workers fairly can actually be a selling point.”

One area where prices have gone up (by 7%-9%), however, is the restaurant business, which is unsurprising given how many workers it employs. Still, the concern that paying workers more would lead to sweeping price inflation has not come to fruition—at least not yet. 

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