Washington minimum wage rises to $9.19 next year

September 28, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 28, 2012

Washington’s minimum wage is due to increase Jan. 1 to $9.19 from $9.04 per hour.

The state Department of Labor & Industries announced the 15-cent per hour increase Friday. The agency calculates the state minimum wage each year.

The existing state minimum wage, $9.04 per hour, is the highest in the nation, and Washington is poised to retain the No. 1 spot next year.

The annual recalculation is required under Initiative 688, a measure passed by Washington voters 14 years ago.

The increase reflects a 1.67 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

The calculation is a measure of average changes in prices over time of goods and services — such as food, clothing and fuel, and services, such as doctor visits — purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers.

The minimum wage applies to workers in agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, although 14- and 15-year-old workers may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.68 per hour, starting next year.

Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont adjust minimum wages based on inflation and the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

The next-highest minimum wage in the United States is in Oregon. The minimum wage in the Beaver State is due to increase by 15 cents to $8.95 per hour next year.

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