More good news for employees living in Kennewick, Washington. Kennewick took second place for the top 10 cities with the highest real minimum wage in a recent study.* The statutory minimum wage is $11.00 but adjusted for cost of living it is equal to $11.39. The statutory minimum wage is what employers must pay non-tipped employees as mandated by law. Richmond, California placed first.
Kennewick Consistently Ranks
Kennewick has consistently place in one of the top two positions for 2015 and 2016 as well. Washington State holds five of the top ten spots. The other four are Spokane (third place), Yakima (fifth place), Tacoma (sixth place) and Seattle (ninth place).
It’s Good To Live In Washington
For almost two decades, Washington State has had the highest state-level minimum wage. And the cost of living is lower on the eastern half of the state which helps the average wage earners money go further (2).
Specifics of the Study
Here is how they determined their findings:
“When we talk about the “real” minimum wage we mean the minimum wage adjusted for the cost of living. A person making minimum wage in an expensive city with a $10 minimum wage on the books might be worse off than a person in an affordable city with a $7.25 minimum wage on the books.
To find the real minimum wage, SmartAsset first compiled data on the minimum wage in all 50 states, and in the counties and cities that have their own minimum wage laws. Next, we pulled city-level cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). That cost of living data came in the form of an index, with 100 being the average cost of living. For example, a city with a below-average cost of living would get a score under 100 and a city with a higher cost of living would get a score above 100.
For each city that had a cost of living index from the C2ER, we first took the city’s statutory minimum wage (the minimum wage on the books in that city). To find the statutory minimum wage we used the highest of either the city, county, state or federal minimum wage pertaining to that city. So, for a city in Georgia, which has a statutory minimum wage of $5.15, we used the minimum wage of $7.25, because the federal minimum wage supersedes the state minimum wage. For Seattle, with a minimum wage of $15, we used the $15 minimum wage and not the Washington-state minimum wage of $11.
Using the formula statutory minimum wage/(cost of living index/100), we found each city’s adjusted minimum wage. Finally, we ranked each city based on its adjusted minimum wage.”
1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A
Kennewick, WA 99336
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