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Sept. 30, 2005

Washington's minimum wage to increase to $7.63 an hour Jan. 1, 2006

TUMWATER — Washington’s minimum wage will increase 28 cents to $7.63 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2006.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recalculates the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington state voters in 1998. The law requires that the state minimum wage be adjusted each year according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) during the 12 months ending each Aug. 31.

The CPI-W measures the average change in prices on a fixed “market basket” of goods and services such as food, shelter, medical care, transportation and other goods and services people purchase for day-to-day living. It increased 3.8 percent during the 12-month period ending Aug. 31, compared to a 2.6 percent increase during the same period in 2004.

That increase, applied to Washington’s current minimum wage of $7.35 an hour, generated a 28-cent increase in next year’s minimum wage. Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although 14- and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage.

For more information on Washington’s minimum wage, go to Wages.LNI.wa.gov and select “Minimum Wage.” Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or toll-free 1-866-219-7321 for more information.

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The Department of Labor & Industries says the state’s minimum wage will increase by 28 cents to $7.63 an hour starting January 1st, 2006.

The state recalculates the wage each September as required by an initiative passed by voters seven years ago.

The initiative requires the state to adjust the minimum wage based on the federal “CPI-W,” which is a national index covering the cost of goods and services needed for day-to-day living. That index rose three-point-eight percent (3.8%) during the 12 months ending August 31st.

You can find more information at “Wages.LNI.wa.gov.”


For media information: Ron Langley, L&I, 360-902-5405 or lanx235@LNI.wa.gov.
Fax transmittal number: 360-902-5420 On the web at www.LNI.wa.gov

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