Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Fact Sheet: Washington’s Minimum Wage, by County

Washington’s minimum wage will adjust to $8.55 per hour on January 1, 2009. A full-time employee earning the minimum wage in Washington will earn $17,784 per year – $1,000 more than in 2008 and $4,160 more than the federal minimum of $6.55 in 27 other states.

$8.55 per hour in 2009 represents the same buying power minimum wage workers had in 2000 when Washington’s minimum wage was $6.50. In comparable dollars, today’s minimum wage is actually lower than it was 40 years ago. In 1968, Washington’s minimum wage was $1.60 per hour; if it had kept pace with inflation, it would be $10.55 in 2009.

Initiative 688, approved by voters in 1998, raised the minimum wage in steps to $6.50 in 2000, then required an annual increase based on the cost of living index for urban wage and clerical workers (CPI-W). The 48 cent adjustment for 2009 reflects the relatively high rate of inflation (5.9%) between August 2007 and August 2008.

In the Seattle metropolitan area the CPI-W was higher than the nation, at 6.2%. Basic necessities of the family budget, including food, rent, and transportation, also rose more than the overall inflation rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics August report.

See county-by-county fact sheets:

Select a county
Adams County
Asotin County
Benton County
Chelan County
Clallam County
Clark County
Columbia County
Cowlitz County
Douglas County
Ferry County
Franklin County
Garfield County
Grant County
Grays Harbor County
Island County
Jefferson County
King County
Kitsap County
Kittitas County
Klickitat County
Lewis County
Lincoln County
Mason County
Okanogan County
Pacific County
Pend Oreille County
Pierce County
San Juan County
Skagit County
Skamania County
Snohomish County
Spokane County
Stevens County
Thurston County
Wahkiakum County
Walla Walla County
Whatcom County
Whitman County
Yakima County

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