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Minimum Wage Rates by State and Municipality

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

State Minimum Wage Rates

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Many states and municipalities have minimum wage requirements. When a state's or municipality's minimum wage rate is higher than the federal government's minimum wage rate (currently $7.25 an hour), employers in that state or municipality must pay their nonexempt employees the higher wage, except in rare situations when an employee is exempt from the state or municipal minimum wage but not the federal minimum wage. Conversely, when a state or municipality's minimum wage rate is lower than the federal minimum wage, employers in that state or municipality must pay their nonexempt employees the federal minimum wage, except in rare situations when an employee is exempt from the federal minimum wage but not the state or municipal minimum wage.

To help ensure that the minimum wage keeps pace with the rising cost of living, many states and municipalities adjust (or will adjust) their minimum wage rates annually. Others adjust their minimum wage rates periodically through legislation or ballot initiatives.

This chart sets forth the state minimum wage rates for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. It also covers selected local minimum wage ordinances that apply to most or all employees who work within a particular jurisdiction, in contrast to ordinances that apply only to specific types of employers (such as those in Long Beach, California, and SeaTac, Washington) and to living wage1 ordinances that apply only to employees of local governments and the contractors they hire.

Employer coverage, employee exemptions, tip credit rules, subminimum wages, youth opportunity wages and other provisions that may affect the minimum wage vary by jurisdiction. Further details are available by clicking on the state's or locality's name.