Sep 2, 2022 - News

Report: Washington's minimum wage makes it No. 3 state for workers

Illustration of medal with a briefcase
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Washington's high minimum wage — $14.49 per hour — has again helped the state rank among the top nationally for workers.

Driving the news: The global anti-poverty organization Oxfam released its annual Best States to Work Index on Thursday.

  • The group ranked Washington third, behind Oregon and California.
  • That's an improvement from 2021, when Washington came in seventh.

Between the lines: In evaluating states, the Oxfam analysis looked at three qualifiers: wage policies, worker protections and rights to organize.

  • Washington received the highest marks of any state when it came to wages. That's largely because the minimum wage is nearly double the federal minimum, which is $7.25 an hour.
  • Washington also performed well because of its worker protections, which include paid family and medical leave, as well as a heat standard to help protect people working outdoors in extreme weather.

Yes, but: Even Washington's minimum wage isn't enough to support a family, Oxfam says.

  • A minimum wage worker in Washington is able to cover only 38% of the cost of living for a family of four​​, per the report.
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