Published on King5.com
By: KING 5 Staff
WASHINGTON, USA — The Washington State Department of Labor & Industry announced on Friday that the minimum wage will increase from $15.74 to $16.28 an hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2024.
This is a 3.4% increase from 2023.
Washington has the highest state-level minimum wage across the U.S. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.
The department calculates the wage increase using the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) beginning in mid-September every year. This index measures the change over time in the prices paid by workers for goods and services.
Cities in Washington can set their own minimum wages. Currently, Seattle is at $18.69 an hour, SeaTac is at $19.06 an hour and Tukwila is at $18.99 an hour.
However, employers are allowed to pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15, under state law. In 2024, workers in this age group can be paid $13.84 an hour.
The wage increase will affect drivers for transportation companies including Uber and Lyft. The minimum pay for these workers will also be going up on Jan. 1. This was included as one of the new rights and protections passed by the state legislature in 2022.
Drivers who conduct trips inside the city of Seattle in 2024 will learn 66 cents per passenger minute and $1.55 per passenger platform mile, or $5.81, whichever amount ends up being greater. For trips outside of Seattle, drivers will earn 38 cents per passenger platform minute and $1.31 per passenger platform mile, or $3.37, whichever is greater.