Washington minimum wage will increase to $9.47 in 2015

Washington’s minimum wage will increase 15 cents to $9.47 an hour beginning January 1, 2015, the Department of Labor and Industries announced today.

The Department calculates the state’s minimum wage each year at this time as required under Initiative 688, which Washington voters approved in 1998. The change reflects a 1.59 percent increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) over the last 12 months ending August 31. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the change in the CPI earlier this month.

The change will affect more than 67,000 workers, based on full-time equivalent positions according to the Washington State Employment Security Department. The per hour increase will total $312 per year.

The minimum wage applies to workers in all industries, including agriculture, although 14- and 15-year-olds can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $8.05 an hour. Washington has the highest state minimum wage in the nation, followed by Oregon, where the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 – an increase of 15 cents – in 2015.

Washington is one of at least 10 states that adjust the minimum wage based on inflation and the CPI. Others include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.

The Department of Labor and Industries enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available on the Department’s Internet website at http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/Wages/. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321. (Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, News Release, September 30, 2014, http://lni.wa.gov/News/2014/pr140930a.asp.)

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