State's minimum wage to increase next year

The state minimum wage will increase 11 cents to $7.01 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2003. The current hourly rate is $6.90.

Washington’s minimum wage is recalculated each year in September as a result of an initiative approved by voters in 1998.

The initiative required an annual cost of living adjustment to the minimum wage based on changes in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

For the 12 months ending August 2002, the nationwide index increased 1.6 percent – 11 cents – to $7.01.

The new wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage.

For more information on Washington’s minimum wage, go to Labor and Industries’ Web site at