- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
Washington state’s minimum wage tops in U.S. at $9.19
OLYMPIA, Wash. — With a bump in the minimum wage to $9.19 an hour on Tuesday, high school student Miranda Olson will edge closer to her goal of purchasing that black Volkswagen Beetle she’s been researching online.
Miranda is only able to pick up part-time hours, working after classes and on weekends. But the extra pennies she’ll earn in 2013 will add up over the coming weeks and months.
Many workers around the country won’t be as lucky as the ones in Washington state, which is raising its salary minimum even though it already has the highest state baseline in the country. Workers one state over — in Idaho — will make nearly $2 per hour less in 2013.
Automatic minimum-wage increases designed to compensate for inflation have steadily pushed up salaries in some states, even through the recession, expanding the pay gap between areas that make annual adjustments and those that don’t.
Of the 10 states that will increase the minimum wage Tuesday, nine did so automatically to adjust for inflation.
Rhode Island lawmakers approved that state’s wage increase this past year.
Paul Sonn, legal co-director at the National Employment Law Project, said he hopes more states will start looking at automatic adjustments as the economy recovers. He said the model — which Washington state first adopted in 1998 — helps avoid sudden jolts as states try to catch up to their peers.
“We think there’s a case that it’s better for everyone, including the business community, to have predictable, regular, small increases every year,” Mr. Sonn said.
The automatic adjustments aren’t much. Washington’s bump of 15 cents will mean those who work 40-hour weeks will earn an extra $6 per week — enough for a couple lattes — or about $300 per year.
Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected to get a pay increase with the wage adjustments that begin New Year’s Day. Along with Washington and Rhode Island, the changes will also occur in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.
Among the nine states with automatic adjustments happening this year, the average minimum wage is $8.12 per hour, up from a little under $8. States that do not have automatic changes operate with an average minimum wage of about $7.40 — a difference of about $1,500 per year for a full-time worker.
Many states, including Idaho, follow the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, either because they’ve tied their minimum wage to that threshold or because the state-enacted minimum is lower than that.
San Francisco has set the highest local minimum wage and will have workers paid at least $10.55 an hour in 2013.
Groups like the National Restaurant Association oppose further increases in federal or state minimum wages, arguing that it’s an ineffective way to reduce poverty and forces business owners to cut hours, raise prices or lay off workers.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- EDITORIAL: Al Gore, soothsayer
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- IRS pays tax cheats hundreds of millions of dollars
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Rush weighs in: Maybe Republicans dont dislike Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow