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Dec. 28, 2004

Washington’s minimum wage increases to $7.35 an hour on Saturday

TUMWATER — Washington’s minimum wage will increase Saturday, Jan. 1, 2005, to $7.35 an hour, up 19 cents from the 2004 minimum wage of $7.16 an hour.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recalculates the state’s minimum wage each year according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). The annual inflation adjustment is required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington voters in 1998. The CPI-W increased 2.6 percent during the 12 months ending Aug. 31, 2004.

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.

Washington is one of three states nationwide, along with Oregon and Florida, that have voter mandates to automatically adjust their minimum wages each year. Fourteen states have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum, which is $5.15 an hour.

For more information, go to Wages.LNI.wa.gov and select “Minimum Wage.”

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For media information: Ron Langley, L&I, 360-902-5405 or lanx235@LNI.wa.gov or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.LNI.wa.gov/News.

Radio broadcast version (:30)

The Department of Labor & Industries says Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $7.35 an hour starting January 1. That’s 19 cents higher than the 2004 minimum wage.

The state recalculates the wage each year as required by a voter initiative passed six years ago.

Washington is one of three states with a voter mandate to adjust its minimum wage each year. The others are Oregon and Florida.

Fourteen states have minimum wages higher than the federal requirement of $5.15 an hour.

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