State's Minimum Wage to Increase 15 Cents, to $9.19, on Jan. 1

Washington state has the highest minimum wage in the country.


Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.19 per hour on Jan. 1, an increase of 15 cents. The current rate of $9.04 an hour is already the highest state minimum wage in the nation. That increased went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, an increase of 37 cents from $8.67 an hour.

(Check out a history of Washington state's minimum wage.)

The Department of Labor & Industries calculates the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, which Washington voters approved in 1998.

The increase reflects a 1.67 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLI).

BLI reports that about 80 percent of the increase was due to a jump in gasoline prices, which rose an average of 9 percent over the past 12 months.

Oregon has the second-highest minimum wage. It will increase 15 cents—1.7 percent—to $8.95 an hour on Jan. 1.

Washington's minimum wage applies to workers in both agriculture and non-agricultural jobs, although 14- and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage, which is $7.81 in 2013.

A few cities, like San Francisco, have their own laws and have higher rates. San Francisco's current rate of $10.24 makes it the first city in the country to top a $10 minimum wage.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Jeanne Large October 11, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I'm pleased and proud to know that Washington and Oregon are ahead of the rest of the country in the minimum wage. Given the cost of living here, $9.19/hr. is not much. I'm fortunate I don't have to support myself and my family on that level of income.
Kirkland Tony October 11, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I am displeased and dissappointed that Washington and Oregon continue to marginalize the least educated in our society by raising the minimum wage above the value those employees could provide to any employers. Those minimum wage jobs are typically low-skilled entry-level jobs that would allow the young and the less educated a start while they learn appropriate skills, but by raising the minimum wage, the state puts them in competition with not just more skilled/educated candidates but also with the value of not having it done at all. Unintended consequences...


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