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Unemployment and Employment Opportunities | Spokane, WA
  • Nearly every non-profit, business, organization, school, and hospital needs help, such as typing, collecting and entering data, filing, answering phone calls, distributing flyers, guiding tours, sorting and recording donations.    


  • Washington State’s 2017 minimum wage is $11.00 an hour as of January 1, 2017.  This wage applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture.  Workers under 16 years old can be paid 85% of the adult minimum wage, or $9.35 per hour in 2017. 

    The new law does not change minimum wage exemptions or regulations regarding overtime pay. 

    The hourly minimum wage raises to
    $11.50 in 2018
    $12.00 in 2019
    $13.50 in 2020.

    The law also requires most businesses to provide employees with some sick or safe leave.  
    Source:  Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries, Washington State Initiative 1433.  For more information, see http://www.lni.wa.gov/News/2016/pr161201a.asp

  • The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and it has not increased since July 2009; however, some states like Washington State, have a higher minimum wage.  When the state minimum wage rate is higher than the federal rate, employers are required to pay workers the higher amount.  https://www.thebalance.com/2017-federal-state-minimum-wage-rates-2061043

  • Spokane's metropolitan unemployment rate was 7.1% in 2014.  (Source:  Washington State Employment Security Department) 

  • There are 50 million people living in poverty in the U.S., and only 40% of them have a job.  (Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Director, "On the Money," CBS This Morning, April 8, 2016)

  • Are people competing with robots for jobs?  Although American factory production has greatly increased, we are losing factory jobs due to machines and robots now doing so much of the work.  Research shows the automation of U.S. factories is a much bigger factor than foreign trade in the loss of factory jobs.  A 2015 Ball State University's Center for Business and Economic Research found that trade accounted for just 13% of America's lost factory jobs.  The vast majority of the lost jobs, 88%, were taken by robots and other homegrown factors that reduce factories' need for human labor.  General Motors now employs barely a third of the 600,000 workers it had in the 1970's; yet, it churns out more cars and trucks than ever. 

    In addition, the increased use of robots,
    combined with higher labor costs in China and other developing countries, has reduced the incentive for companies to chase low-wage labor around the world....So companies have been returning to the U.S.  The global scramble by companies for cheap labor is ending.  The U.S., now #2, will overtake China as the most competitive country in manufacturing by 2020."  ("Factory jobs in U.S. falling prey to robots," by Paul Wiseman, Associated Press, November 3, 2016)