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Minimum Wage in the USA: in which state is it highest and amounts

While changes are coming for many states in 2023 there are many states which are stuck at an outdated minimum wage that was last adjusted in 2009.

A volunteer hands a package of pasta to a customer at a food bank of the 'Seniorenglueck' association during in Dortmund, western Germany, on January 19, 2023. - The 'Seniorenglueck' association provides senior citizens with food and hygiene articles and runs a food distribution for needy people once a month. The association has set itself the task of helping people, especially the elderly, who are dependent on help due to their social situation. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

The dawn of a new year brings the same old questions. Will aliens finally be revealed to exist? Will flying cars be developed this year? Will the minimum wage increase in my state? Ahem.

Many people in the US are likely to be experiencing a wage rise this year if they are on the minimum wage. While plans for a federal minimum wage, if they could be called plans, dribbled away like sediment being washed down a drain, states continue to adjust theirs as inflation bites. Most of them anyway.

Raising the minimum wage has been a winner whether it is in Republican-leaning or Democrat-leaning states. From 1996 to 2020, there were 27 minimum wage increase measures on the ballot across the US. Of the 27 measures, 25 were approved and 2 were defeated, with approval averaging 60 percent according to Ballotpedia. Florida was the most recent voting in the November elections to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026.

The states with the highest minimum wage

While the federal minimum wage has been stuck at its current level, since 2014 over two dozen states and Washington DC have raised their own base hourly wage.

States with the highest minimum wage in 2023

  1. Washington D.C.: $16.10
  2. Washington State: $15.74
  3. California: $15.50
  4. Connecticut: $15.00
  5. Massachusetts: $15.00
  6. New York: $15.00*
  7. New Jersey: $14.13
  8. Maine: $13.80
  9. Oregon: $13.50
  10. Vermont: $13.18

*Upstate New York has a minimum wage of $14.20

Note: some states' shown minimum wage will come into affect by July 2023 at the latest.

The states with the lowest minimum wage

While there are only a handful of states with a minimum wage higher than $15 an hour, there are plenty that have their’s much lower, if it is set at all. At present, there are 20 states which have a minimum wage of $7.25. This has remained at the same level since the last federal minimum wage change in July 2009.

States with a $7.25 minimum wage

  • Alabama (uses federal minimum)
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana (uses federal minimum)
  • Mississippi (uses federal minimum)
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina (uses federal minimum)
  • Tennessee (uses federal minimum)
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

If the federal minimum wage was abolished then four states would have no minimum wage at all.