Minimum wage going up, with or without voter approval in November

The Department of Labor & Industries announced that current state’s minimum wage will increase 6 cents in 2017.

The wage will rise to $9.53 an hour on Jan. 1.

L&I calculates the state minimum wage each year in September as required under Initiative 688, which voters approved in 1998. The wage is up from the current of $9.47 per hour.

This would not impact some jurisdictions who approved higher than normal local minimum wages, including Seattle, Sea-Tac, and Tacoma.

Voters will consider raising Washington minimum wage in November through to $13.50 by 2020. Initiative 1433 sponsored by Raise Up Washington would give all workers the opportunity to earn paid sick leave and gradually raise the minimum wage over 4 years.

The increase in the minimum wage is expected to affect nearly 51,000 workers, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.

The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture. Workers under 16 can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $8.10 an hour, in 2017.




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