Minimum wage increases to $9.04 an hour on Sunday
December 30, 2011 · 3:05 PM
SEATTLE — Beginning Sunday, Washington’s minimum wage will make a jump up to $9.04 per hour. The 37-cent increase reflects a 4.2 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers since August 2010. The state Department of Labor & Industries calculates the state’s minimum wage each year. The recalculation is required by Initiative 688, which was approved by voters in 1998.
The Consumer Price Index used in the calculation measures the average change in prices of goods and services over time. Goods and services are defined as items purchased daily, such as food, clothing, shelter and fuel. Services such as doctor’s visits are also included.
During the last year, the prices of most categories of consumer goods rose, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The largest increase was fuels. The lowest increases were for education and communication services.
Washington has the highest minimum wage in the U.S., followed by Oregon. The minimum wage applies to workers in all professions.