What’s the Minimum Wage in Each State?

Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. Find out if your state pays more.

What’s the Minimum Wage in Each State?

Two-thirds of Americans favor raising the minimum wage to $15.

You've no doubt heard the term minimum wage plenty of times, especially if you've worked a common entry-level job like cashier at a retail store or a line cook at a fast food establishment. Minimum wage is the lowest amount of compensation (read: money) that an employer can legally pay you to work for them. Currently, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay $7.25 an hour by federal law, which comes out to about $15,080 a year for full-time workers.

The fact is, an employer can't just decide to pay you whatever they feel like, nor can they pay you one wage one day and another wage another day. There's a minimum wage law—a provision of the FLSA—that guarantees that you earn a certain amount of money for your work. However, there are a handful of exemptions for both employers and employees.

Who is exempt from the FLSA?

Some employees are exempt from wage provisions. These exempt workers are paid annual salaries, not hourly wages, and are ineligible for overtime pay. (There are other circumstances under which a worker can be exempt. For more information, check with the Department of Labor.)

On the flip-side, covered nonexempt employees—such as construction workers, contractors and freelancers, maintenance workers, retail sales associates, and servers—are paid by the hour, can collect overtime, and must be paid minimum wage.

Additionally, what you earn in one location can differ from what you'd earn in another location—sometimes by a lot.

State minimum wage vs federal minimum wage

Although the federal minimum wage law says that employers must pay their workers at least $7.25 an hour, states are free to set their own minimum wage—and the majority of states have. As such, it's not always easy to know what you should get paid—and you always need to know what you should be getting paid.

The good news is that workers are entitled to the larger dollar amount. Meaning, employers are required to pay their employees whichever wage is higher, state or federal.

Which states pay more than minimum wage?

Overall, 29 states and Washington D.C. pay more than the federal minimum. In addition, 45 localities have adopted minimum wages above the state minimum. In 2021, 24 states will see increases to state wages.

Minimum wage in each state

The below list was pulled from the Economic Policy Institute's Minimum Wage Tracker, and is current as of January 7, 2021.

State Wage Last Increase
*Alabama $7.25 n/a
Alaska $10.34 2021
Arizona $12.15 2021
Arkansas $11 2021
California $14 2021
Colorado $12.32 2021
Connecticut $12 2020
Delaware $9.25 2019
**Florida $8.56 2020
Georgia $7.25 2001
Hawaii $10.10 2018
Idaho $7.25 n/a
Illinois $11 2021
Indiana $7.25 n/a
Iowa $7.25 2008
Kansas $7.25 2009
Kentucky $7.25 2009
*Louisiana $7.25 n/a
Maine $12.15 2021
Maryland $11.75 2021
Massachusetts $13.50 2021
Michigan $9.87 2021
Minnesota $10.08 2021
*Mississippi $7.25 n/a
Missouri $10.30 2021
Montana $8.75 2021
Nebraska $9 2016
Nevada $9 2020
New Hampshire $7.25 n/a
New Jersey $12 2021
New Mexico $10.50 2021
New York $12.50 2020
North Carolina $7.25 n/a
North Dakota $7.25 2009
Ohio $8.80 2021
Oklahoma $7.25 2009
***Oregon $12 2020
Pennsylvania $7.25 n/a
Rhode Island $11.50 2020
*South Carolina $7.25 n/a
South Dakota $9.45 2021
*Tennessee $7.25 n/a
Texas $7.25 n/a
Utah $7.25 n/a
Vermont $11.75 2021
****Virginia $7.25 2020
Washington $13.69 2016
West Virginia $8.75 2015
Wisconsin $7.25 2009
Wyoming $7.25 2002
Washington, D.C. $15 2020

*No minimum wage is set, therefore the federal minimum applies.
**The federal minimum in Florida will increase to $15 on September 30, 2021, thanks to Amendment 2 voted on and approved in 2020.
***The federal minimum in Oregon will increase to $12.75 on July 1, 2021.
****The federal minimum in Virginia will increase to $9.50 on May 1, 2021.

How often does the federal minimum wage increase?

There are no automatic increases. In order for minimum wage to be raised, Congress needs to pass a bill that the President must then sign into law.

This may come as a shock, but the legal minimum hasn't been raised since 2009, when it went from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour. Congress had approved of the increase in 2007, but it took until 2009 to go into effect. Prior to 2007, the minimum wage was $5.15 for 10 years.

If $7.25 an hour sounds underpaid to you, you're not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans are in favor of raising it to $15 an hour.

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