Wash. minimum wage to increase to $9.19 next year

Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.19 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced Friday.

L&I calculates the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998. The 15-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.04 to $9.19 an hour, reflects a 1.67 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index (for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI‑W) announced earlier this month by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The CPI-W measures average price changes for goods and services purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers. The goods and services it monitors include basic living costs such food, clothing, shelter, fuels, and services such as doctor visits.

According to the BLS’ Sept. 14 announcement, about 80 percent of the increase was due to a jump in gasoline prices, which rose an average of nine percent over the past 12 months.

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

Washington has the highest minimum wage, followed by Oregon, which recently announced its 2013 minimum wage will rise 1.7 percent, or by 15 cents, to $8.95 per hour. 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 $7.81 in 2013. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.Lni.wa.gov.

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries