WA Minimum Wage vs. Cost of Living

Did you know that 417,000 people in Washington work at or near Washington’s minimum wage (earning less than $12/hour), or that more of Washington’s lowest-wage workers are over age 55 than under age 20?

Initiative 1433, passed by Washington voters in 2016, increased Washington’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour on January 1st, 2018. While that helps some paychecks keep up with the cost of living — particularly for people without younger children, and those living in less urban areas — it’s still far short of what many need to make ends meet.

The map below illustrates how a full-time minimum wage paycheck stacks up versus a basic self-sufficiency budget for various family sizes. Select a family size via the drop-down menu, then click on a county to get detailed results.

Latest Blog Posts

New Study: High Minimum Wage in Seattle Caused No Employment Losses

Economic Opportunity Institute | September 6, 2018

Details About Washington’s New Paid Sick Days Law

Marilyn Watkins | December 27, 2017

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Time for a Raise

Issue Brief | October 20, 2016

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Report | August 3, 2016

Posted in Minimum Wage, State of Working Washington