Washington state's minimum wage rate will rise to $9.32 next year, part of an annual inflation adjustment meant to help employees' pay keep pace with the cost of living.
The new rate will be an increase of 13 cents over the current rate of $9.19 per hour, ensuring Washington's minimum wage remains the highest in the nation barring the passage of legislation in other states.
Voters in Washington passed a ballot initiative in 1998 that amended the state statute to require annual minimum wage adjustments. Wash. Rev. Code § 49.46.020. This year's increase of 1.5 percent was based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers between August 31, 2012, and August 31, 2013.
Nine other states also annually adjust their minimum wages based on the rate of inflation.
Once the new minimum wage kicks in, Washington's minimum wage will be more than two dollars higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The higher state minimum wage will apply except in rare cases in which an employee is exempt from Washington's minimum wage requirements but not those of the federal government.