Minimum Wage

Source: U. S. Department of Labor
Latest Data: 2023
Frequency: Annual

The minimum wage is the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer must pay his employees for a job performed within a given period of time. This amount cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract. Both states and the federal government can establish a minimum wage.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, if a state minimum wage differs from the current federal rate, eligible nonexempt employees are entitled to the higher of the two rates.  For our dataset, we used the higher minimum wage value for the states that have more than one minimum wage.

According to the Dept. of Labor, no minimum wage is required in AL, LA, MS, SC, TN, 16 states use the federal minimum wage ($7.25) and 29 states plus Washington, D.C. have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage.

The U.S. Department of Labor gives the following additional information about the minimum wage on the Consolidated Minimum Wage Table:

  • The state minimum wage rate requirements, or lack thereof, are generally controlled by legislative activities within the individual states.
  • Federal minimum wage law supersedes state minimum wage laws where the federal minimum wage is greater than the state minimum wage. In those states where the state minimum wage is greater than the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage prevails.
  • CNMI has a minimum wage set lower than the federal minimum wage. There are 29 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands with minimum wage rates set higher than the federal minimum wage. There are 16 states plus Puerto Rico that has a minimum wage requirement that is the same as the federal minimum wage requirement. The remaining 5 states do not have an established minimum wage requirement.
  • The District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage at $14.00/hour. Note: There are 18 states (AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, ME, MN, MO, MT, NV, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, SD, and WA) that currently have scheduled annual adjustments for their minimum wages based on varying formulas. Most of these increases occur around January 1st. Individuals should consult the relevant state labor offices for information on the particular formula used to adjust the state minimum wage.

The historical information for 1968 - 2019 also comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.