Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

The Seattle Times Features Jennifer Otten’s Study on Minimal Wage Ordinance and Childcare Costs

Posted: 2/12/2019 (CSDE in the News)

CSDE Affiliate Jennifer Otten, Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Services, was lead author on a study that found that childcare facilities’ labor costs increased after the wage hikes. She looked at payroll data from 2014 and 2016 for about 200 businesses, surveyed 41 childcare directors three times, and interviewed 15 directors. Otten found that more than half saw their costs increase, often raising tuition and cutting staff hours or jobs as a response. According to Otten, “this study illustrates how singular policies can affect more than just payroll and can shape organizational structure and service delivery.”

The story also featured another UW study on the minimum wage, which did not find significant evidence of supermarket food price increases linked to the wage hike. Other than The Seattle Times, the studies were also featured in MyNorthwest and King 5,

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