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September 29, 2000

Minimum wage adjusted to $6.72 per hour Jan. 1

TUMWATER - Next year's minimum wage in Washington will be $6.72 an hour -- not the $6.71 announced earlier this month.

The federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) Thursday corrected its calculation of the Consumer Price Index. The CPI is used by the Department of Labor & Industries to calculate Washington's minimum wage. BLS cited software problems in announcing its correction.

The $6.72 state minimum wage takes effect Jan. 1, 2001.

The new wage applies to workers across the state in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. (Exception: Workers under 16 employed in non-agricultural work may be paid $5.71 -- 85 percent of the minimum wage.)

The current minimum wage is $6.50 an hour.

The annual recalculation of the minimum wage is the result of an initiative approved by Washington state voters in 1998 tying the minimum wage to changes in the federal Consumer Price Index. Each September, Labor & Industries recalculates the minimum wage based on the CPI.

For more information on minimum wage, go to the Labor & Industries web site: /scs/workstandards/minwage.htm

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