Seattle’s minimum wage will rise to $18.69 in the new year for most workers, an increase of $1.42 per hour due to high inflation and rising consumer costs.
Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance, similar to the state’s, requires minimum wage to keep pace with the consumer price index each year, based on the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metro area. While inflation growth has recently slowed, federal data for August showed Seattle-area consumer prices were 9 percent higher than the year before.
The higher end of the wage scale applies to large employers, while smaller employers can pay less if they contribute toward workers’ medical benefits, or if employees earn a certain amount of tips.
The breakdown for 2023, from Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards:
- The 2023 minimum wage for large employers (501 or more employees) is $18.69/hour
- The 2023 minimum wage for small employers (500 or fewer employees) who do not pay at least $2.19/hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does not earn at least $2.19/ hour in tips is $18.69/hour.
- The 2023 minimum wage for small employers who do pay at least $2.19/hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does earn at least $2.19/hour in tips is $16.50/hour.
Seattle’s wage adjustment follows the state-level announcement last Friday. The Department of Labor & Industries said the state-level minimum wage would rise 8.7 percent in the new year, landing above $15 an hour for the first time for most workers amid the largest surge in inflation in nearly four decades.