Minimum wage to increase to $13.50 per hour in 2020

By Troy Tooker Senior Reporter
December 4, 2019

In January 2020, the minimum wage of Washington state will be increased to $13.50 per hour. This will be an increase from the base $12 that was instituted at the beginning of 2019. This is part of initiative 1433, which was passed in 2016 to increase the minimum wage every year until January 2020.

This increase in minimum wage will occur on the first of January in 2020. This doesn’t guarantee a living wage though. According to RentCafe, an online site that specializes in rent and rental trends, the average rent for Puyallup is a little under $1,500.

The monthly earnings of someone working a full-time minimum wage job per month would be $2,160 before taxes, which, after subtracting rent from this taxless income, would leave $674 a month.

According to, the average insurance on a car for someone about 18-years-old is $2,200 to $2,500 a year, which is $180 a month. This leaves minimum wage workers with $400 for phone bills, housing bills, food, clothes and other necessities on a month to month basis. This also accounts for the minimum wage worker only supporting themselves, and not supporting any children, disabled or other people unable to provide an income.

After this increase, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries will review and adjust according to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, which is a government document that reviews the cost of market goods, living expenses and other consumer-based finances. It’s based on geographic location and is specific to individual areas such as King County, Ellensburg, and other Washington regions.

Areas like Tacoma, Seattle, and the SeaTac area may not see a change in their current minimum wage, as these areas currently pay for minimum wage already exceeds the minimum amount. While this is still not a livable wage for an individual, the minimum wage may continue to rise in the coming years depending on the determination from the L&I over the CPI-W.