SEATTLE — The minimum wage in Washington state will increase in 2022, according to the state's Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).
The state's minimum wage will increase from $13.69 per hour to $14.49 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2022. That's a 5.83% increase next year, L&I said.
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.
Cities in Washington state are able to set their own minimum wages.
In Seattle, the minimum wage is either $15 per hour or $16.69 per hour depending on if the employer puts money toward the employee's medical benefits or if the employee earns tips. The city of SeaTac increased its minimum wage in 2021 to $16.57 per hour.
Many companies are also taking it upon themselves to raise wages for their workers. Just this week, Renton-based Taco Time announced it's raising wages at three locations to $20 an hour. Seattle's Dick's Drive-In has also raised wages to $19 an hour.
The companies said they hope to attract new employees and retain them with higher wages.