Washington’s state minimum wage will stay the same in 2016.
(Oct. 1, 2015) Washington state’s minimum wage will not increase in 2016, remaining at $9.47 an hour. This is only the second time Washington has not had a state minimum wage increase since voters approved a 1998 initiative that requires annual recalculations based on the national Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI). The CPI decreased by 0.3 percent over a 12-month period ending Aug. 31, 2015. As a result, Washington will no longer have the nation’s highest minimum wage, replaced by California and Massachusetts which will reach $10 per hour on January 1.
SeaTac and Seattle have passed ordinances that set even higher minimum wages than the state, and Tacoma will have two minimum wage initiatives on its November ballot, one calling for a phased-in increase to $12 an hour and another that would immediate require a $15 an hour minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2016.
WLA joins the Washington Restaurant Association supporting the $12 initiative, and it calls on voters to be careful about how they vote on what will be a confusing ballot. The WRA created a video to clarify the two votes needed to defeat the $15 an hour measure. View the video here.