Friday, December 28, 2012

Washington's minimum wage workers are getting a raise

​On January 1, 2013, minimum wage workers in 10 states - including ours - will receive pay increases as a result of legislation.
In our state's case, the increase is 15 cents per hour, bringing the total hourly minimum wage in Washington to $9.19.
Since January 1, 1999, Washington's minimim wage workers have received annual cost-of-living adjustments thanks to Initiative 688 (with the exception of 2010, when there was no increase). This law, which the voters overwhelmingly approved by over 66 percent, requires the state Department of Labor and Industries to make yearly adjustments to the minimum wage based on the federal Consumer Price Index.
While $9.19 an hour is nearly $2.00 an hour more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, it still amounts to an annual income of less than $20,000 per year.
In other words, nobody's living large on minimum wage.
Here's a helpful chart on the history of Washington's minimum wage.
This article from Stateline talks about efforts to boost the minimum wage in other states as well as at the federal level. It also links to a 2010 study that failed to find a correlation between the kind of minimum wage increases seen in states and layoffs/job losses.

Read this story in Spanish here.