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Washington State Increases Minimum Wage

The state already had the highest state-level minimum wage in the nation.

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SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state's minimum wage will increase 54 cents to $16.28 an hour next year.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries made the announcement Friday, The Seattle Times reported. A full-time worker making that wage would earn nearly $34,000 per year. The 3.37% increase is a cost-of-living adjustment based on the federal Consumer Price Index.

Washington's minimum wage of $15.74 an hour is currently the highest state-level minimum wage in the nation, according to state labor officials.

At least three Washington cities already pay more per hour. Seattle's minimum wage is $18.69 an hour for most workers, and the Seattle suburb of Tukwila is at $18.99. In SeaTac — where the Seattle-Tacoma International airport is located — the minimum wage is $19.06.

West Hollywood, California, claimed the highest minimum wage of any U.S. city after pay rose $19.08 an hour during the summer.

The federal minimum hourly wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.

Employers in Washington state are allowed to pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15, which works out to $13.84 an hour in 2024.

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