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Dec. 21, 2000

Minimum wage in Washington state rises to $6.72 per hour Jan. 1

TUMWATER - Workers earning minimum wage in Washington will make $6.72 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2001, a 22-cent-per-hour increase over the current minimum wage.

The new wage applies to workers across the state in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. (Exception: Workers under 16 employed in non-agricultural work may be paid $5.71 -- 85 percent of the minimum wage.)

The current minimum wage is $6.50 per hour.

The annual recalculation of the minimum wage is the result of an initiative approved by Washington state voters in 1998 tying the minimum wage to changes in the federal Consumer Price Index. Each September, Labor & Industries recalculates the minimum wage based on the CPI.

The $6.72 wage is one cent more than the department originally announced in September. The federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) corrected its calculation of the Consumer Price Index in late September, and L&I had to re-adjust the announced minimum wage. The CPI is used by the Department of Labor & Industries to calculate Washington's minimum wage. BLS cited software problems in announcing its correction last fall.

Copies of the new minimum wage posters may be requested from local L&I field offices. They can also be printed from the L&I web site:  /workstandards/minwage.htm

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