The 2021 state minimum wage rises to $13.69 from current nation-leading $13.50.

The Department of Labor and Industries announced a 1.69% increase in the state minimum wage, taking it to $13.69 an hour.

The state’s minimum wage will increase to $13.69 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2021. The change is significant this year because it also impacts wages paid to some salaried employees exempt from overtime and other protections under state law…

The 2021 minimum wage is based on a 1.39 percent increase over the last 12 months in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

The Washington Research Council points out,

Meanwhile, Washington’s new overtime rules for executive, administrative, and professional employees (approved last year) are tied to the state minimum wage. Given today’s announcement, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the new overtime salary threshold will be $42,712 for employers with 1–50 employees and $49,831 for employers with more than 50 employees. (The salary thresholds will increase until fully phased in in 2028; L&I has updated its implementation schedule to reflect the 2021 minimum wage.)

Although the new overtime threshold took effect July 1, 2020, the federal threshold is currently higher and, therefore, binding. The state threshold will be binding in Washington on Jan. 1, 2021.

Q13 reports,

For employers in Seattle and SeaTac, which already have higher minimum wages, the local minimum wage rate will apply as long as it is higher than the state minimum. SeaTac’s is $16.34 for hospitality and transportation employees and Seattle’s varies on the size of the company, but is as high as $16.39.

With unemployment already high, particularly for minimum wage workers, any increase in employer costs could inhibit a jobs recovery.