With New Year’s Day, Washington’s already-highest-in-the-nation minimum wage jumps to $9.32 an hour.
The hourly increase of 13 cents, from $9.19 to $9.32 an hour, reflects a change in the consumer price index, according to the state Department of Labor and Industries.
Voters approved an initiative in 1998 that requires the state agency to make a cost-of-living adjustment to its minimum wage each year based on the federal consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers.
Washington has the highest minimum wage in the nation, followed by Oregon. The minimum wage in Oregon is also set to go up Jan. 1, by 15 cents, from $8.95 to $9.10. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
Washington has become a flash point in a national debate over raising the minimum wage. Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray has said he would give a task force of business, labor, government and academics four months to come up with a plan to raise the city’s minimum wage.