TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) - Washington state's minimum wage will increase 5.9 percent, 48 cents, from $8.07 to $8.55 an hour beginning January 1, 2009.
The increase is required by a voter initiative that passed 10 years ago.
The State Department of Labor and Industries recalculates the state's minimum wage each year in September as required by initiative 688.
The law was approved by Washington voters in 1998.
Washington's minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and nonagricultural jobs, although 14 and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.27.