What’s behind Washington’s 2013 minimum wage increase

October 1, 2012 | Alex Stone

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) just announced a 15-cent bump to Washington’s 2013 minimum wage – to $9.19 per hour, or just over $19,000 for a full-time worker.

The reason for the increase? A 1998 voter-approved initiative that pegs increases in Washington’s minimum wage to inflation. The measure effectively took minimum wage increases – always a political “hot potato” – out of legislative hands, ensuring the wages of Washington’s lowest paid workers would no longer lose ground to inflation.

Per the terms of the law, L&I calculates the increase using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U), which measures inflation for “Urban Consumers”. Thanks largely to higher gas prices, the CPI-U increased 1.7 percent. Costs for food, shelter, medical care, personal care, new vehicles, and recreation also rose (albeit much less than gas), more than offsetting price declines for used cars and trucks, apparel, household furnishings and operations, and airline fares.

Of this year’s 15-cent increase in Washington’s minimum wage, $0.12 is due to higher gas prices. The remaining $0.03 reflects other price increases.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Minimum Wage

Comments

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "What’s behind Washington’s 2013 minimum wage increase"
  1. […] every year. In January 2013, the minimum wage wage increased 15 cents – mostly driven by higher gas prices. That small increase boosted the paychecks more than 150,000 Washington workers, giving a small […]

Leave a Reply

Search the blog

Subscribe to the blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Like what you’re reading?
Reader support helps preserve our independent voice for the middle class - please chip in to help out!