One thing that is not changing with the New Year is the state minimum wage.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries sent out a reminder that the state minimum wage will remain at $9.47 an hour in 2016. Changes in the state minimum wage are based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for a 12-month period ending each Aug. 31. At the end of August 2015 the index dropped 0.3 percent. Under state law, the minimum wage can’t be decreased.
Several cities in Washington will have higher minimum wages than the statewide number in 2016, including Seattle, SeaTac and Tacoma. No cities in Whatcom County will have a higher minimum wage than the state level.
Washington will no longer have the highest minimum wage in the U.S., a position it held for several years. Alaska, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will have higher rates.
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This is the second time Washington’s minimum wage will remain flat since the passage of Initiative 688 in 1998. The last time was in 2010.