Which US state has the lowest minimum wage?
Many states have no minimum wage but they are propped up by the federal minimum of $7.25 which has not been adjusted in over a decade.
The federal minimum wage in the United States has not increased in 14 years, the longest period without an increase since the base wage was created in 1938. Currently, the national minimum wage is $7.25. However, some states have set higher wages.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), workers on the federal minimum wage have as much purchasing power as someone in the 1950s. The highest in history was in the 1960s where the minimum wage was the equivalent of $13 in today’s money.
States do not have to follow the lead of Washington DC, however. 30 states, plus the District of Columbia, have adopted wages above the federal benchmark. In total, 24 states raised their minimum wages in 2023.
Five states do not have a state minimum wage and use the federal minimal instead. These are: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
The following have theirs aligned at the federal minimum wage.
History of minimum wage in the US
The federal government’s involvement in minimum wage legislation began with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. This landmark legislation, during the New Deal era, established a federal minimum wage of 25 cents per hour and a 44-hour workweek, gradually increasing the minimum wage over time.
The FLSA has been amended and updated multiple times over the years to increase the federal minimum wage. Key amendments include the 1961 amendment that extended minimum wage coverage to more workers and the 2007 amendment that raised the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour, where it stands today.