The minimum wage for the state of Washington will remain at $9.47 per hour for the year of 2016. This is the second time the state minimum wage has remain the same as the following year since the passing of the Initiative 688, which Washington voters approved in 1998. The previous wage stalemate was in 2010.

Washington’s minimum wage is based on the nationwide Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Each assessment runs for 12 months and ends each Aug. 31. Because the CPI-W, which calculates the cost of groceries, gas, clothing, and other everyday living expenses did not increase, neither did the minimum wage. Actually, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPI-W decreased by o.3 percent from August 2014 to August 2015, but under Initiative 688 the minimum wage can never be decreased.

Maintaining the 2015 minimum wage into 2016, will end Washington’s status of having the highest minimum wage in the country. As of Jan. 1, 2016 both California and Massachusetts will have a minimum wage of $10 per hour.

The state Employment Security Department figures that an estimated 67,000 full-time equivalent wage jobs are affected by the annual announcement. Washington’s minimum wage requirements are applied to employees in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. Young folks (ages 14-15) can earn up to $8.05 per hour or 85 percent of the adult wage.