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Washington State's Minimum Wage Increasing to $9.04 Next Year

The 37-cent increase reflects a 4.258-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI­W) since August 2010.

Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.04 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the Department of Labor & Industries announced late last week.

The department calculate the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998. The 37-cent increase reflects a 4.258 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI­W) since August 2010.

The CPI-W, which is used in this calculation, is a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers. Goods and services are determined as those things people buy for day-to-day living such as food, clothing, shelter and fuels, and services such as doctor visits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ news release, over the last 12 months the prices of most categories of consumer goods  rose. The largest cost increases occurred for fuels; the  lowest increases were for education and communication services.

Washington is one of 10 states that adjust minimum wage based on    inflation and the CPI. The others are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.

Washington State has the highest minimum wage, followed by Oregon.    Oregon recently announced that its minimum wage will rise 30 cents to    $8.80 an hour in 2012.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and    non-agricultural jobs, although 14­- and 15-year-olds may be paid 85    percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.68 in 2012.

More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.Lni.wa.gov. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 866-219-7321.

--Information from the Department of Labor & Industries

Dr. Curt Oland October 11, 2011 at 06:15 PM
It is nice to see the state making it even harder for a small business to survive in WA. I realize this law was passed before the current economic situation, but how about we hold off on the increase until things get better.
Dan Lassley December 01, 2011 at 04:26 AM
It's equivalent to the employer paying over $11 an hour when you add in all of the taxes associated. Small business is paying the same as big business and I can't do it. Beginning in January I'm firing most of my employees and closing one of my two small stores. The community loses an asset that can't be replaced. I'm losing my income after being in business for over 20 years.

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