The United States has a federal minimum wage. These wage regulations are described in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as a means of protecting workers.
The current federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour went into effect on July 24, 2009. This rate has remained the same over the past 12 years. Employers must pay employees based on the Hourly Wage Act, but there are exceptions. For example, employers can pay a lower hourly wage to employees who tip.
> Some states have increased wages through their own state minimum wage laws. However, many states are still complying with federal minimum wage laws and have not increased wages. Additionally, two states (Georgia and Wyoming) have state minimum wage rates that are lower than the state minimum wage rate. But this lower rate does not apply to the average worker, and most workers are paid $ 7.25 an hour.
Wondering how your state’s minimum wage rate compares to other US states? Find out below.
Minimum hourly wage by state
We have outlined the current minimum wage in each of the 50 US states. As a hint, if the state doesn’t have a minimum wage, it follows the federal minimum wage, and we’ve listed the rate as such. For states with a minimum hourly wage lower than the federal wage, we’ve listed the federal minimum wage because most employees qualify at $ 7.25 an hour.
|state||Hourly minimum wage||Exceptions|
$ 13.00 to $ 14.00
|(Employers with 25 or fewer employees: $ 13.00; Employers with more than 26 employees: $ 14.00)|
|(Valid for employers with 4+ employees, including family members)|
|(Valid for employers with 2+ employees)|
$ 8.21 to $ 10.08
|(Employers with annual revenue of less than $ 500,000: $ 8.21; Employers with annual revenue of $ 500,000 or more: $ 10.08)|
|(Retail or service company employers whose gross annual income is less than $ 500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate)|
|(Valid for employers with 4+ employees)|
$ 8.75 to $ 9.75
|(Employer provides health insurance: $ 8.75; employer does not provide health insurance: $ 9.75)|
$ 12.50 to $ 15.00
|(Long Island & Westchester: $ 14.00; NYC: $ 15.00; elsewhere: $ 12.50)|
$ 7.25 to $ 8.80
|(Employers with gross earnings less than $ 305,000: $ 7.25; Employers with gross earnings greater than $ 305,000: $ 8.80)|
|(Valid for employers with 4+ employees)|
|(Valid for employers with 6+ employees at one location)|
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
The challenge of living on the minimum wage
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 247,000 workers were paid just $ 7.25 an hour in 2020. With the cost of goods and living on the move, living on $ 7.25 an hour can be challenging. Some workers need to have multiple jobs in order to be able to afford rent and pay their bills.
Recently, companies have increased entry-level wages to be more competitive. It will be interesting to see if more states will raise their minimum wages in the next few years. Hopefully the federal wage will also rise. Twelve years is a long time for no increase.
If you recently received a raise, be sure to prioritize savings goals
If you’re in a state that recently raised its minimum wage, or if you work for a company that raised its wages, try prioritizing your savings goals. Life is expensive and emergencies happen. By setting up an emergency fund, you are prepared for unexpected financial concerns.
If you’re new to saving, these tips can help you build an emergency fund within a year. Opening a separate savings account is a great way to keep your money separate so that you are not tempted to spend extra money. If you’re looking to improve your money affairs or see additional financial information, take a look at these personal financial resources.
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