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What are the minimum wages across the US states in 2021

The minimum wage is the amount an employer must pay an employee per hour (if we are talking about the United States) or per month (as is often the case in European countries). There are different opinions as to whether the minimum wage should be a living wage, a synthetic figure for calculations (as it is in many European countries when it is used, for example, to calculate fines or state service charges), or whether it should be a way to combat the “sweat equity” system.

In 2021, the Congressional Budget Office released a report estimating that gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would benefit 17 million workers, but would also reduce employment by 1.4 million (you can read this article to understand more).

In any case, as of October 2021, the U.S. federal minimum wage is set as 7.25 per hour. And the minimum tipped wage is set as $2.13 per hour for workers who receive at least $30 as tips.

Moreover, some states in the U.S. have set the minimum wage below $7.25, such as Wyoming and Montana, but employers must pay at least $7.25 per hour for employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The US states by minimum wage 2021

Below is the table of the minimum wage by the US state, table includes both minimum wages per hour, as well as minimum tipped wage.

StateMinimum wageMinimum tipped wage
AlabamaNo state minimum wage law ($7.25 for employers that fall to FLSA)$2.13
California$14.00 (for employers with more than 26 employees, $13.00 for others) $14.00 (for employers with more than 26 employees, $13.00 for others)
DC (Washington)$15.20$5.00
Florida$10.00$6.98 per hour
Georgia$5.15 ($7.25 for employers that fall to FLSA) $2.13
Maryland$11.75 (for employers with 15+ employees)/$11.60$3.63
Michigan$9.65 (for employers with at least 2 employees)$3.75
Minnesota$10.08 (employers with revenue more than $500,000)/$8.21 (for employers with revenue under $500,000)$10.08 (employers with revenue more than $500,000)/$8.21 (for employers with revenue under $500,000)
MississippiNo state minimum wage law ($7.25 for employers that fall to FLSA) $2.13
New Hampshire$7.25$3.26
New Jersey$12.00 (non-seasonal, for employers with 6+ employees)/$11.00 (for seasonal or for employers with 5 or fewer employees)$4.13
New Mexico$10.50$2.55
New York$12.50$8.35
North Carolina$7.25 $7.25 
North Dakota$7.25  $7.25 
Pennsylvania$7.25 $2.83
Puerto Rico$7.25 (Employees covered by FLSA)/$5.08$2.13
Rhode Island$11.50$3.89
South Carolina$7.25 (For employees covered by FLSA, no state minimum wage) $2.13
South Dakota$9.45$4.73
Tennessee$7.25 (For employees covered by FLSA, no state minimum wage) $2.13
Virginia$9.50 (for employers with 4+ employees)$2.13
West Virginia$8.75$2.62

What are the states with the highest minimum wage?

The highest minimum wage is in the District of Columbia ($15.2).

The state’s highest minimum wage is in California, which declares a $14.00 per hour minimum wage. However, only for employers with 26 or more employees.

The state that offers the highest minimum wage for all employees in Washington, which has $13.69 per hour.

The top 5 states by the minimum wage are:

  • Washington – $13.69
  • Massachusetts – $13.50
  • California – $13.00 ($14.00 for employers with more than 26 employees)
  • Connecticut – $13.00
  • Oregon—$12.75

Does federal minimum wage overrides state minimum wage?

Yes, in case the state minimum wage is lower than the state minimum (or the state doesn’t have the minimum wage law), then it would be applied $7.25 federal minimum wage for the workers that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Can the city have a higher minimum wage than the state minimum?

Yes, the city can have its own minimum wage standards, which may be higher than applied across the state.

The top 5 cities with the highest minimum wage are:

  • Emeryville, California – $17.30
  • Seattle, Washington – $16.69
  • Sunnyvale, California – $16.30
  • Mountain View, California – $16.30
  • San Francisco. California – $16.07

What are states that don’t have a minimum wage law or its lower than a federal minimum?

There are some states that don’t have the minimum wage or it’s lower than a federal minimum. That includes:

  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin 
  • Wyoming

There are two states with the lowest minimum wage: Georgia ($5.15) and Wyoming ($5.15). But you should know, that employers in these states that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must still pay the $7.25 federal minimum.

Also, there’s Puerto Rico, with a minimum wage of $5.08, but employers that fall under FLSA should pay the federal minimum of $7.25.

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