2019 Minimum Wage Increases

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In most cities across Washington state, minimum wage will go up to $12 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2019.

There are three exceptions to this: Seattle, SeaTac and Tacoma.


All large employers in the city of Seattle must pay a $16-an-hour minimum wage starting Jan. 1, 2019. The Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced the change at the beginning of October 2018.

Large employers are those that employ more than 500 people worldwide. This rule affects all large employers starting in 2019, even those that contribute toward individual medical benefits.

Small employers, those who employ 500 or fewer people, must pay at least $15 an hour. If the small employer contributes at least $3 per hour toward an employee’s medical benefits and/or tips, that employer can pay a $12 minimum wage.

Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance determines that the wage paid by large employers increases annually to reflect the rate of inflation measured by the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton Area Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending August 2018. By law, small employers must also pay workers a higher minimum wage.

For more information, visit the Seattle’s Office of Labor Standard’s webpage or call 206-256-5297.


The minimum wage in Tacoma will increase to $12.35 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019. This wage was calculated by the city of Tacoma using the consumer price index to adjust for inflation.

For more information on Tacoma’s minimum wage, visit the city’s webpage.


SeaTac’s 2019 minimum wage is $16.09 per hour.

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