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Where you work can have a big impact on how much money you make. It’s true around the world, and it’s true right here in the U.S.

Yes, we have a federal minimum wage that sets a floor on how much an American can earn nationwide. However, the federal minimum wage isn’t the final say—most states have also set their own minimum rates. Fortunately for workers, if a state’s minimum wage is lower than the federal minimum, the federal minimum takes precedent … but if a state’s minimum is higher, employers must abide by it.

How does your state stack up? Today, I’ll review every state’s minimum wage and show you which states pay more than their peers. I’ll also explain a few quirks, such as states with more than one minimum wage.


What Is the Federal Minimum Wage?

federal wage department labor

The Fair Labor Standards Act, which was passed back in 1938, created a worker’s right to a minimum wage—a right that’s enforced by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, which applies to covered nonexempt workers (you can learn more about coverage at the DoL), was last raised in 2009. The FLSA also mandates overtime pay of at least 1.5 times your hourly rate if you work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

One noteworthy exception to the federal minimum wage rate is tipped employees, who receive a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. A tipped employee is anyone who regularly accepts tips worth more than $30 in a month. With tips, many tipped employees can earn more than the federal minimum wage (sometimes substantially more). However, if between the lower minimum wage and tips, a tipped employee has not earned at least $7.25 per hour, the employer must make up the difference.

States With a Minimum Wage Lower Than the Federal Minimum Wage

states minimum wage lower federal 640

Like I mentioned before, some states have a different minimum wage requirement than the federal minimum wage. In many cases, it’s more—though in a handful of situations, it’s less. Fortunately for workers, when the federal and state minimum wages are different, the higher rate always applies.

So while the following states mandate a lower wage than the federal minimum in at least some instances, as long as an employer is subject to the FLSA, it still must pay its minimum-wage workers at least $7.25 per hour:

  • Georgia: $5.15 per hour (applicable to employers with six or more employees)
  • Montana: $4.00 per hour (applicable to employers that have gross annual sales of $110,000 or less)
  • Oklahoma: $2.00 per hour (applicable to all employers that do not have 10 or more full-time employees at any one location, and employers that do not have annual gross sales over $100,000 irrespective of FTEs)
  • Wyoming: $5.15 per hour

As you can see, some states require different minimum wage rates depending on a business’s size. Also, as you’ll see in a minute, Montana and Oklahoma have additional minimum wage rules that set the bar for some businesses at or above the federal minimum.

States With No Minimum Wage

states no minimum wage law

A good 10% of states have opted to just punt the issue of minimum wages to the Department of Labor:

  • Alabama
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

These states currently have no statewide minimum wage laws on the books. As a result, by default, employers in these states must pay workers at least the federal minimum wage.

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States With a $7.25 Hourly Minimum Wage

minimum wage road sign warning

Many states that do have a state minimum wage law have set their floor at $7.25 per hour—the same as the federal minimum. These states include:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio (employers with annual gross receipts under $385,000)
  • Oklahoma (employers with 10 or more full-time employees, and employers with annual gross sales of more than $100,000 irrespective of the number of FTEs)
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

This is the most popular state minimum wage.

States With the Highest Minimum Wages

states highest minimum wage inside 640

Currently, 30 states have either complete basic minimum wages, or conditional basic minimum wages (applied to certain businesses based on criteria such as employee number or annual sales), that sit above the federal minimum wage.

So, which state pays the most?

Keep reading, and I’ll show you every state that pays more than the federal minimum—including a handful that offer up more than double that.

Editor’s Note: Many states have multiple minimum wages. The states below are listed in reverse order of their highest applicable minimum wage. This list only considers state-set minimum wages; however, some cities enforce their own minimum wages that might be higher than the state minimums below.

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#30: West Virginia

West Virginia flag state taxes

West Virginia’s minimum wage is $8.75 per hour. This rate applies to employers with six or more employees at one location.

#29: Montana

Montana flag state taxes

While Montana does have one basic state minimum wage of $4.00 per hour for certain businesses, its rate for companies with gross annual sales of more than $110,000 is $10.30 per hour.

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#28: Michigan

michigan state flag 640

Michigan’s minimum wage, which applies to employers of two or more employees, is $10.33 per hour. Michigan adjusts its minimum wage every year based on a set formula.

#27: Ohio

ohio state flag 640

While Ohio’s minimum wage for employers with annual gross receipts below $385,000 is level with the federal minimum wage, its minimum wage for employers with annual gross receipts of $385,000 or more is $10.45 per hour.

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#26: Minnesota

Minnesota flag state taxes

Minnesota’s basic minimum wage is $10.85 per hour for “large employers,” which it defines as those with annual revenues of $500,000 or more. (Note: For “small employers”—those with annual revenues of less than $500,000—Minnesota has an $8.85 hourly wage.)

#25: Arkansas

arkansas state flag 640

Arkansas has an hourly minimum wage of $11.00 per hour. This rate applies to employers with at least four employees.

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#24: South Dakota

south dakota state flag 640

South Dakota’s minimum wage is $11.20 per hour. The wage is adjusted every year based on a set formula.

#23: Nevada 

nevada state flag 640

Nevada’s minimum wage is $11.25 per hour for employers that don’t offer qualifying health insurance, and $10.25 per hour for employers that do not. Right now, Nevada’s minimum wage is adjusted annually based on a set formula.

That said, the differentiation will be a moot point later this year. Starting on July 1, 2024, Nevada will implement a uniform minimum wage for all employees of $12 per hour.

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#22: Alaska

alaska state flag 640

Alaska’s minimum wage is $11.73 per hour. Its minimum rate is also adjusted every year based on a set formula.

#18 (tie): Florida + Nebraska + New Mexico + Virginia

florida nebraska new mexico virginia state flag 640

Florida, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Virginia all have minimum wage rates of $12.00 per hour.

For Nebraska, the rate only applies to employers with four or more employees.

Florida adjusts its minimum wage annually based on a set formula. It’s scheduled to increase by $1.00 every Sept. 30 until it reaches $15.00 per hour on Sept. 30, 2026.

#17: Missouri

Missouri flag state taxes

Missouri’s minimum wage is $12.30 per hour, and the minimum wage is adjusted every year based on a set formula.

Also note that Missouri exempts employees of a retail or service business with gross annual sales or “business done” of under $500,000.

#16: Delaware

delaware state flag 640

Delaware’s minimum wage is $13.25 per hour.

#15: Vermont

Vermont flag state taxes

Vermont’s minimum wage is $13.67 per hour. This rate applies to employers with two or more employees.

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#12 (tie): Hawaii + Illinois + Rhode Island

hawaii illinois rhode island state flag 640

Hawaii, Illinois, and Rhode Island all have the minimum wage set at $14.00 per hour.

For Illinois, the rate applies to employers with four or more employees, excluding family members.

#11: Maine

maine state flag 640

Maine’s minimum wage is $14.15 per hour. The minimum wage is adjusted every year based on a set formula.

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#10: Arizona

arizona state flag 640

Arizona’s basic minimum rate is $14.35 per hour.

#9: Colorado

Colorado flag state taxes

Colorado’s minimum wage is currently $14.42 per hour.

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#7 (tie): Maryland + Massachusetts

maryland massachusetts state flag 640

Maryland and Massachusetts both have a minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

Massachusetts has a rule that its minimum wage can never be less than 50¢ higher than the effective federal minimum wage.

#6: New Jersey

new jersey state flag 640

New Jersey’s minimum wage for most employers is $15.13 per hour. This rate is adjusted every year based on a set formula. However, New Jersey does have a smaller minimum wage of $13.73 hourly for seasonal and small employers (those with fewer than six employees).

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#5: Oregon

oregon state flag 640

Oregon is something of an oddball in that the state sets three different minimum wages based on geography. The highest rate in the state is in the Portland Metro Area, where the minimum wage is $15.45 per hour. Oregon’s standard state rate is $14.20 per hour, and in “non-urban” counties, the hourly rate is $13.20.

The standard minimum wage is adjusted every year on July 1, based on a set formula. The Portland Metro minimum wage adjusts at the same time, to $1.25 per hour more than the standard minimum wage. And also at the same time, the non-urban wage should increase to $1 less than the standard minimum wage.

#4: Connecticut

Connecticut flag state taxes

Connecticut has a minimum wage of $15.69 per hour.

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#2 (tie): California + New York

california new york state flag 640

In California, the basic minimum rate is $16.00 per hour. The minimum wage is adjusted annually based on a set formula. Many jurisdictions within the state have higher minimum wage requirements.

In New York, the state has set Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and New York City minimum wages at $16.00 per hour. The rest of the state has a minimum hourly wage of $15.00.

#1: Washington

washington state flag 640

Washington has the highest minimum wage of all 50 states—an important distinction, as you’ll see in a moment. Its current minimum wage is $16.28 per hour. This rate is adjusted annually based on a set formula.

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District of Columbia

district of columbia flag 640

The District of Columbia is technically not a state (though many would argue it should be). That said, if it were, it would certainly have the highest minimum wage among its peers—it pays $17.00 per hour as I write this.

D.C. also adjusts its rate each year, based on a set formula. Beginning July 1, 2024, D.C.’s minimum wage will rise to $17.50 per hour.

Also noteworthy is that the District of Columbia’s tipped employee minimum wage is actually higher than the federal minimum wage for regular workers. It’s currently $8.00 per hour, and as of July 1, 2024, it will jump to $10.00 per hour.


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About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of WealthUp (previously Young and the Invested). He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.