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Minimum wage for hospitality, transportation workers in SeaTac surpasses Seattle wages

The minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers increased to $17.54 per hour on Jan. 1.

SEATAC, Wash. — Minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers in the City of SeaTac surpassed Seattle on Jan. 1.

Minimum wage for people working in those industries increased from $16.57 per hour to $17.54 per hour.

The original ordinance was announced Oct. 11 and would have increased minimum wage to $17.53 per hour. It was later updated in November.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport operates within SeaTac's boundaries. In 2013, voters approved Proposition 1, which established an initial minimum wage of $15 per hour for some workers, which includes workers in the airport. Last year, the Port of Seattle expanded what workers were covered by the minimum wage law.

Minimum wage for businesses in Seattle with 501 or more employees increased to $17.27 per hour on Jan. 1. Smaller businesses with 500 or fewer employees must pay $17.27 an hour if they do not also pay $1.52 per hour toward medical benefits or the employee receives at least $1.52 per hour in tips. If they do, those smaller employers can pay $15.75 per hour.

On Jan. 1, 2022, Washington state's minimum wage increased to $14.49 an hour, up 80 cents from the previous minimum wage of $13.69. 

Each year, Washington State's Department of Labor and Industries is required to make a cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics attributed the increase to more expensive gas, housing, household furnishings and food. 

The state minimum wage applies to workers age 16 and older. Under state law, employers can pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15, according to L&I.