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History of Washington Minimum Wage

These are the changes by year that have been made to the Washington State minimum wage since 1961.

Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998, required L&I to make a cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage each year between 2001 and 2016, based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Initiative 1433, approved by Washington voters in 2016, requires a statewide minimum wage of $11.00 in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12.00 in 2019, and $13.50 in 2020. 

Beginning 2021, and each year thereafter, L&I is required to make a cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage based on the CPI-W.

See the Minimum Wage page for more information and to find out why it changes.

History of Minimum Wage in Washington State
Effective date Minimum wage per hour
January 1, 2017 $11.00
January 1, 2016 $9.47
January 1, 2015 $9.47
January 1, 2014 $9.32
January 1, 2013 $9.19
January 1, 2012 $9.04
January 1, 2011 $8.67
January 1, 2010 $8.55
January 1, 2009 $8.55
January 1, 2008 $8.07
January 1, 2007 $7.93
January 1, 2006 $7.63
January 1, 2005 $7.35
January 1, 2004 $7.16
January 1, 2003 $7.01
January 1, 2002 $6.90
January 1, 2001 $6.72
January 1, 2000 $6.50
January 1, 1999 $5.70
(September 1, 1997)
$5.15
(Federal minimum wage change)
January 1, 1994 $4.90
January 1, 1990 $4.25
January 1, 1989 $3.85
January 1, 1976 $2.30
September 1, 1975 $2.00
January 1, 1974 $1.80
January 1, 1968 $1.60
January 1, 1962 $1.25
June 30, 1961 $1.15

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