Washington's minimum wage jumps to $9.04 next year

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Starting Jan. 1, the state's lowest-paid workers will get a 37-cent raise, an annual increase mandated by a 1998 voter initiative that requires the yearly adjustment.

Washington's minimum wage - already the nation's highest - will increase from $8.67 per hour to $9.04 per hour, the state's Department of Labor & Industries announced today. The minimum is adjusted each year according to the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers. L&I said the index increased 4.258 percent during the 12-month period ending in August.

Washington is one of 10 states that adjusts its minimum wage based on inflation and the Consumer Price Index, L&I said. The others are: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.

Oregon announced earlier this month that its minimum-wage workers will get an extra 30 cents an hour next year. That state's minimum wage is set to rise to $8.80 per hour on Jan. 1.