Business

No minimum wage increase for Washington employees in 2010

Washington’s minimum wage will not increase in 2010, but will remain the same at $8.55 an hour.

There is no increase because the Consumer Price Index did not increase for the past 12 months.

The Department of Labor & Industries recalculates the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington voters in 1998. The law requires that the state minimum wage be increased for inflation 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 is a national index covering the cost of goods and services needed for day-to-day living. It decreased 1.9 percent during the 12¬month period ending in August, compared to a 5.9 percent increase during the same period in 2008, which led to a 48-cents-an-hour increase in the 2009 minimum wage.

This is the first time since the initiative passed that there is no increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Employers may continue using the current minimum wage poster for another year.

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, or $7.27.

Washington is one of ten states, with Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Florida, Colorado, and Arizona, that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation.

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