Washington State: New Minimum Wage Is Highest In Country

Jan. 1, 2004


As of today, Washington has the highest minimum wage in the nation.

The new year raises the minimum by 15 cents to $7.16 an hour.

The state department of Labor and Industries says that will beat Alaska by a penny, Connecticut by six cents and Oregon by eleven cents.

The federal minimum wage is $5.15 cents an hour.

The state makes a cost-of-living adjustment to the wage each year, as required by a 1998 state Labor Council initiative passed by voters.

The increase is opposed by the state Restaurant Association.

It says the rising minimum wage hurts the economy because higher costs force businesses to cut jobs.


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