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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 nine 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.

LEON COLLINS October 11, 2012 at 04:12 AM
IF WASHINGTON STATE KEEPS THIS UP THEY WILL FORCE ME OUT OF BUSINESS, I AGREE THAT THEY SHOULD MAKE A FARE WAGE BUT WE ARE TOTALLY OUT OF LINE WITH THIS LAW IT IT SHOULD BE OPPOSED AND SHUT DOWN, IT'S NOT FAIR OR EVEN MORALE FOR MYSELF OR ALL BUSINESSES TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF OUR GREEEDY SOCIETY
Priya Sinha October 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Mr. Collins: I would be interested in knowing what kind of business you run and how many people you employ regularly. And, do you offer health insurance?
Karen Burns October 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Leon, if you can't afford to pay an employee a measly $9.14 per hour, you shouldn't be in business. After taking 15% for taxes - that leaves $7.81 per hour, which equates to $16,247.00 annually based on 40 hours per week. Now please tell me who is being GREEEDY?
PC Boy October 11, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Karen and Priya, your response speaks to your ignorance. It's not a matter of the business being able to afford to pay the employees, it's a matter of "will the consumer be willing to pay the increase?" Washington has one of the highest minimum wages in the country. We the consumers pay for this in the form of higher prices, it's a wicked spiral. A business has to operate with a certain profit margin; in this current competitive environment, no one is able to be greedy. The point is, minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage (able to support a family on). It's an entry level wage. As an employee learns the job and gains proficiency, he or she is worth more, and normally gets a raise. The more productive an employee is, the more they make, and the more they are responsible for. Our utopian society has decided that we need to pay entry level employees a livable wage, offer them health care and benefits, and the greedy employer needs to absorb all the costs. We pay the high school kid flipping burgers almost 10 bucks an hour, plus offer him health care benefits. Who do you think really ends up paying for it? You and me!
Priya Sinha October 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM
PC Boy: No where in my comment above did I state a position. In fact, you do not know my position. I simply want more facts. Please read before you criticize.
Karen Burns October 11, 2012 at 10:36 PM
PC Boy, My husband and I own a business. Starting wage is $10 / hour at our business. That isn't a lot, but we also pay commissions and employees get pay raises for doing good work. We make a point to pay our employees well. It's not about greed for us, but it is for some. The owner gets paid last and if you can't afford $9.14 an hour, CLOSE! It is a disgrace to not pay people enough to live on.
LL KOOl T October 13, 2012 at 03:36 AM
raising the minium wage is gd for the economy people
LL KOOl T October 13, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Pay your employees well close the doors homie
dexterjibs October 13, 2012 at 05:20 AM
I always love it when liberals like Karen Burns and other useful idiots dictate how business owners ould spend their money. The market should determine the worth of someone's pay, not the government. BTW, Karen, what business do you and your husband own? And, is it anyone's business what you pay tour employees and what type of benefits you give them? And Karen, wouldn't it be more "fair" if ypou paid your employees $40 an hour and gave them full benefits? If not, aren't you incredibly greedy?
dexterjibs October 13, 2012 at 05:22 AM
What economic background do you have and how many businesses have you owned and how much payroll have you been responsible for in meeting each week? Thats what I thought.
dexterjibs October 13, 2012 at 05:24 AM
If a livable wage is your lame argument, why are you and your husband so grteedy that you cannot pay your alleged employees $40 an hour with full benefits? You are a dispicable business owner if you are not able to do that and you and your husbance should be forced by the governmetn to go out of business. Geez you are ignorant.
dexterjibs October 14, 2012 at 05:57 AM
I love it when leftists like you find it so easy to spend other peoples money. You look down your nose at other people and when they are not spending money like you think they should be spending their money, you denegrate them and use government to force them to spend their own money the way you believe they should be spending it. So riddle me this Mrs Burns, are you remployees unionized? If not, why not? Do your employees have full medical benefits so they can provide their family medical care? If not, why not? Is it true you and your greedy husband have made your money off the backs of others? Is it true that you did not build your business, other people have built your business for you? Does the government tell you and your greedy husband what to pay your hard working employees or is it a verbal agreement between you and your emnployees? And Mrs Burns, have you figured out that i am using the terminology of the leftists to expose you as a left wing hypocrite? How dare you call criticize a business owner for things in which you are guilty of.
dexterjibs October 14, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Pretty silent there LL Kool. Can't answer my question about you reconomic background? Thats what I thought, another leftist that is completely ignorant of economics.
dexterjibs October 14, 2012 at 06:04 AM
Well, Priya, here is your opportunity to get off the fence and actually give an opinion about high school kids getting a State mandated raise while adults raising families don't get a raise or have no job at all. We are all waiting for your opinion.

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