State’s minimum wage remains the same in 2016

State’s minimum wage remains the same in 2016

As a reminder, Washington state’s minimum wage will stay the same in 2016 — $9.47 per hour.

For years, Washington’s minimum wage has been the highest in the country. That changed on Jan. 1, 2016, when Alaska, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island will have higher rates. Several cities in Washington also will have higher minimum wages than the statewide amount in 2016. The cities include Seattle, SeaTac, and Tacoma.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. Youth ages 14-15 may be paid 85 percent of the adult wage, $8.05 per hour.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) calculates the minimum wage annually as required under Initiative 688, which voters approved in 1998. It’s the second time the state minimum wage has remained flat since the initiative passed. The last time was in 2010.

Changes to the minimum wage are based on the nationwide Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for a 12-month period ending each Aug. 31. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, that index decreased 0.3 percent. Under state law, the minimum wage can’t be decreased.

L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The agency investigates all wage-payment complaints it receives, as required by state law. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at

(Source: WA Department of Labor & Industries)


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