Washington voters approved a process to calculate the minimum wage in 1998, and the new increase reflects a rise in the Consumer Price Index. That has been driven upward recently due to gasoline prices. Effective January 2013 the minimum wage in the state of Washington will jump another $0.15 to $9.19! This is roughly a 6% increase in just the past two years.

This will have a direct impact on some employers and an indirect impact on most Washington employers. Those employers that are currently paying anywhere from $9.25 to $9.50 per hour to differentiate themselves from the $9.04 worker will have lost their advantage starting January 1st. And while it is still a “buyers” market that favors employers, we see that margin getting thinner and thinner.

It may not have to be done January 1st, but New Era HR Solutions recommends that employers in the $9.04 to $9.50 per hour for entry level also boost their ranges to stay out in front. It may not be a big difference, but psychologically to be earning “minimum wage” can be a barrier for good, hard workers.

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