Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday said it's time to have a discussion about Washington's minimum wage -- the highest in the country.

Washington state employers pay entry-level workers $9.19 per hour -- a wage with a built-in annual escalator, like a cost-of-living raise.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Inslee said:

I don’t have any particular number in mind right now. This is something we need to have a conversation about... Look, Henry Ford understood that he had to pay his people decent so they could buy his cars so, yes, I think that having a healthy minimum wage is an actual good thing for the Washington state economy.”

Earlier this year, numerous economists, including Don Brunell of the Washington Association of Businesses, said trying to artificially impose higher wages will slow job creation because when companies pay workers more they don't have as much to invest in new jobs.

Recently the City of SeaTac (near Seattle) voted to raise its minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Inslee stopped short of endorsing that level.