Politics & Government

Washington’s minimum wage going up again to $9.47, tops in the U.S.

Washington’s minimum wage will go up by 15 cents to $9.47 an hour, affecting more than 67,000 workers, the state Department of Labor and Industries announced Tuesday.

That keeps the state rate highest in the country on a statewide basis, although some jurisdictions such as Seattle and SeaTac have adopted laws to set higher rates. Oregon’s rate, which is the second highest, goes up 15 cents to $9.25 next year, Labor & Industries said in a news release.

The raise will be worth about $312 a year for a full-time worker, L&I said. In a news release, the agency said the minimum pay raise “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.”

The increase is calculated each year, based on the rate of inflation, according to Initiative 688, which Evergreen State voters approved in 1998. Labor and Industries said the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, which is set by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, went up 1.59 percent in the 12 months ending Aug. 31.

The agency said at least 10 states including Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado adjust the wage floor using inflation and the CPI.