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Minimum Wage Soared to $9.04 Jan. 1 1/12/2012
WashingtonState minimum wage went up 37 cents on January 1st to  $9.04 an hour, earning the title of the highest state minimum in the country. The minimum wage adjustment was based on a 4% inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index for the past 12 months.   The yearly recalculation is required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington voters in 1998.
While many business owners point to our states record high minimum wage as a detriment to small businesses, not everyone agrees.  Regional Labor Economist, Mark Bareth says for our area it’s a good thing.
Bareth admits that the raise in the minimum wage could make it a bit tighter in the hiring arena, but will also likely increase the number of job seekers.
Though WashingtonState holds the title of  “highest state minimum wage”… it isn’t actually the  highest minimum wage  since San Francisco has set a city wide minimum wage of $10.24 an hour.   The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.