WASHINGTON, D.C. – With decades-high inflation eroding incomes, families around the country are struggling to make ends meet. The problem is especially pronounced for those in minimum wage jobs, as the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 an hour – and in 20 states, the minimum wage matches the federal figure.
Still, in some states, the minimum wage is higher. Some are also taking further action to reduce inflation’s impact on the pocketbooks of the lowest earning workers. Washington state, for example, will raise its minimum wage to over $15 an hour in January 2023.
In Washington, the minimum wage was $14.49 an hour as of July 1, 2022, the highest among states.
While Washington has a higher minimum wage than most other states, many working families are still struggling. According to a study published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a working adult in Washington would need an hourly wage of $37.66 to support a family of four.
It is important to note that if employers are forced to pay their workers more, they may not be able to afford to hire as many employees, which could result in job losses and drive up unemployment. Washington’s jobless rate of 4.1% in August 2022 is higher than the national rate of 3.7%
|Rank||State||Minimum wage ($)||August 2022 unemployment (%)|