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Minimum Wage By State

Minimum Wage By State
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Introduction

The minimum wage, a statutory amount decided by the state governing bodies, is a pivotal factor in understanding the economic landscape of a region. This rate delineates the least hourly pay a worker can receive, implicating workers' quality of life and potential standards of living.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 set the first federal minimum wage at a modest $0.25 per hour. Today, the federally mandated minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour, a figure echoed in the minimum wages of 20 states spanning Alabama to Wyoming. However, many states envision a sustainable living standard as requiring a higher foundation and have consequently raised their minimum wages.

  • Washington currently secures the top spot with the highest minimum wage, offering its labor force an hourly remuneration of $15.74, well over double the federal minimum.
  • California trails close behind with a minimum wage of $15.50 followed by Connecticut and Massachusetts both providing a minimum wage of $15.00. These states, along with New York, form a select group of five with minimum wages exceeding $14 per hour.
  • While several states gravitate towards the extremes, others like Nebraska, Nevada, and Michigan fall in the mid-range, with minimum wages hovering around the $10 mark.
  • Contrasting the top and bottom states, a worker in Washington earns more than twice per hour than their counterpart in a state adhering to federal minimum wage.

States with the Highest Minimum Wage

Leading the pack with the highest minimum wage in the United States is the state of Washington. The hourly wage here is significantly set at $15.74, more than double the federally established minimum wage.

Taking the second spot close behind is California, with a comparatively high minimum wage of $15.50 per hour. 

Jointly sitting in the third position are Connecticut and Massachusetts, both maintaining an exact minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

New York rounds out the top five states with the highest minimum wage, providing its workforce with a commendable $14.20 per hour. 

Further down the list, we still see states significantly surpassing the federal minimum wage, such as Arizona with $13.85, Maine with $13.80, Colorado with $13.65, Oregon with $13.20, and Vermont finally with $13.18.

States with the Highest Minimum Wage:

  1. Washington - $15.74
  2. California - $15.50
  3. Connecticut - $15.00
  4. Massachusetts - $15.00
  5. New York - $14.20
  6. Arizona - $13.85
  7. Maine - $13.80
  8. Colorado - $13.65
  9. Oregon - $13.20
  10. Vermont - $13.18

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