Bloomberg by the Numbers: $9.32

Photograph by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Fast-food workers and supporters organized by the Service Employees International Union protest outside of a Burger King Worldwide Inc. restaurant in Los Angeles.

That’s the minimum wage in Washington state, the highest in the nation.

Washington’s minimum wage has been adjusted upward for inflation every year since 2001, under the terms of a ballot initiative passed by voters in 1998 that raised the wage to $5.70 in 1999 and to $6.50 in 2000.

In the past 15 years, job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, higher than the national rate, according to this Bloomberg News story by Victoria Stilwell, Peter Robison and William Selway.

President Barack Obama wants Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25.

“It’s good for business, it’s good for America,” Obama said yesterday in Connecticut, where he was joined by Democratic governors who share his position.

“The push for a higher federal minimum wage has become a centerpiece of Obama’s attempt to frame Democratic Party priorities before the November midterm elections that will decide control of the U.S. House and Senate,” Margaret Talev and Victoria Stilwell reported for Bloomberg News.

Most Republicans say hiking the federal minimum wage would have adverse consequences for employment. A $10.10 minimum wage would “destroy up to one million American jobs,” House Speaker John Boehner’s office said in a release yesterday before Obama’s Connecticut appearance.

The Department of Labor has a chart listing state minimum wage laws as of Jan. 1.

 

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