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No raise in minimum wage in 2010 because Consumer Price Index fell past 12 months

Post by Joe Turner on Sep. 30, 2009 at 10:04 am with 9 Comments »
September 30, 2009 12:46 pm

My thanks to the Washington Policy Center for bringing my attention to this. The state Department of Labor and Industries sent out a news release yesterday, saying the minimum wage in Washington would remain $8.55 an hour.

TUMWATER – Washington’s minimum wage will not increase in 2010 but will remain the same at $8.55 an hour because the Consumer Price Index for the past 12 months did not increase.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recalculates the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington voters in 1998. The law requires that the state minimum wage be increased for inflation each year according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) during the 12 months ending each Aug. 31.

The CPI-W is a national index covering the cost of goods and services needed for day-to-day living. It decreased 1.9 percent during the 12‑month period ending in August, compared to a 5.9 percent increase during the same period in 2008, which led to a 48-cents-an-hour increase in the 2009 minimum wage.

This is the first time since the initiative passed that there is no increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Employers may continue using the current minimum wage poster for another year.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although 14‑ and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.27.

Washington is one of ten states, with Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Florida, Colorado, and Arizona, that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation.

More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.Lni.wa.gov. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. Thats OK. In order to make up for the min wage not going up, LNI is going to increase its fee by 7.6%. So all is good? All the small businesses struggling to survive can count on LNI to help you make those tough decisions of should I let someone go. With the rate increase many will have no choice but to reduce staff.

  2. jimkingjr says:

    So, when prices go up, the minimum wage goes up, but when prices drop, the minimum wage- DOESN’T drop. Washington State economics…

  3. Nope, the min wage doesn’t drop. But the state taxes increase, so we all win!

  4. derekyoung says:

    Exidor, not trying to be the copy editor here, but I couldn’t figure out what you were referring to until I realized it sounded a lot like L&I or the Department of Labor and Industries which provides workman’s compensation insurance.

  5. Not just Washington state. It’s I bonds and a host of other items that are indexed to the inflation rate, including Social Security.

  6. Exidor, In light of the increase in minimum wage over the years, I think it makes sense for the employer and employee to split the increase in cost 50/50.

    I would say the same thing for unemployment insurance.

  7. Sorry, LNI is the common acronym and one of the common abbreviations. I think at this point the employers should not be seeing increases. This state survives on the back of business through the B&O tax. Our UBI taxation process is miserable compared to other states. All the recent “popular” state rankings like Forbes do not consider the B&O as part of the measuring criteria. If they did, the rank would plummet. There is a reason there are only 2 states with a B&O. Washington State and West Virginia. The ranking also does not calculate failure % each year. A real view of the climate is not so pretty. Adding more burden to the businesses will only default to more loss in state revenue and more unemployed.

  8. PinotGrigio says:

    Exidor is correct Dept of Labor and Industries does go by LNI. http://www.lni.wa.gov/ so now that that’s settled….LNI economist are ignorant to how a real business operates and are heavily influenced by the unions.

    if you want to know what LNI REALLY does, go search their website for Prevailing Wage rates. ANY private busniess awarded a contract by any govt agency in WA, i.e. school district, city, county, or WSDOT, must pay their workers the prevailing wage rate which is purely driven and decided by the UNIONS. Does LNI allow business owners to have a say in the matter or do they want to continue to assume all business owners are greedy and evil? Because the over all attitude among LNI is just that . Shut up and we’ll tell you what to do.

    OH, and if a crooked business owner failes to pay their workers, legal or not, what do you think LNI does about it? Nothing. Not a darn thing. their ONLY interest is if the business paid their premiums. if not then, they launch a full on assault, and the cheated worker takes a backseat. So much for defending the defenseless.

    The other deviant tactic of LNI is to change your workers rate class to a HIGHER rate by misinterpreting the WAC description. Hey, it’s worth a try, right? It could mean and extra $2 per hour worked.

    Residential lawnmower man, watch out because they are coming for you.

  9. Hey great post! I enjoyed that.

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