What is ‘minimum wage’?

A minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers should legally pay their employees. It seems like the concept is simple, but there are two conflict opinions economically. The supporters of the minimum wage say that it can increase the standard of living of workers and reduce poverty, since the employees earn more money. In contrast, the opponents are saying that it may increase poverty and unemployment rate, because the employers could hesitate to hire more employees worrying about increasing labor cost.

In spite of the conflict, the minimum wage has increased globally. Today we’ll check up the US minimum wage, which will be interesting.


The U.S. Minimum Salary by States

In US, the minimum wage is set by US labor law and a range of state and local laws. Therefore, In the US, each state can set their own minimum wages independent of the federal law.

Referring to the graph below, across America, there are 19 out of 51 states, are following the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The 19 states are Missouri, New Mexico, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, etc. In a meanwhile, the District of Columbia has the highest minimum salary rate at $12.50 per hour across the states. Wyoming and Georgia both have the lowest minimum wage rate at $5.15.


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U.S. Minimum Wage by States – 2018 Jan

2018 U.S. Minimum Wage by States
High to Low A – Z
District of Columbia $12.50 USD Alabama $7.25 USD
Washington $11.50 USD Alaska $9.84 USD
California $11.00 USD Arizona $10.50 USD
Massachusetts $11.00 USD Arkansas $8.50 USD
Arizona $10.50 USD California $11.00 USD
Vermont $10.50 USD Colorado $10.20 USD
New York $10.40 USD Conneticut $10.10 USD
Oregon $10.25 USD Delaware $8.25 USD
Colorado $10.20 USD District of Columbia $12.50 USD
Conneticut $10.10 USD Florida $8.25 USD
Hawaii $10.10 USD Georgia $5.15 USD
Rhode Island $10.10 USD Hawaii $10.10 USD
Maine $10.00 USD Idaho $7.25 USD
Alaska $9.84 USD Illinois $8.25 USD
Minnesota $9.65 USD Indiana $7.25 USD
Maryland $9.25 USD Iowa $7.25 USD
Michigan $9.25 USD Kansas $7.25 USD
Nebraska $9.00 USD Kentucky $7.25 USD
South Dakota $8.85 USD Louisiana $7.25 USD
West Virginia $8.75 USD Maine $10.00 USD
New Jersey $8.60 USD Maryland $9.25 USD
Arkansas $8.50 USD Massachusetts $11.00 USD
Montana $8.30 USD Michigan $9.25 USD
Ohio $8.30 USD Minnesota $9.65 USD
Delaware $8.25 USD Mississippi $7.25 USD
Florida $8.25 USD Missouri $7.85 USD
Illinois $8.25 USD Montana $8.30 USD
Nevada $8.25 USD Nebraska $9.00 USD
Missouri $7.85 USD Nevada $8.25 USD
New Mexico $7.50 USD New Hamsphire $7.25 USD
Alabama $7.25 USD New Jersey $8.60 USD
Idaho $7.25 USD New Mexico $7.50 USD
Iowa $7.25 USD New York $10.40 USD
Indiana $7.25 USD North Carolina $7.25 USD
Kansas $7.25 USD North Dakota $7.25 USD
Kentucky $7.25 USD Ohio $8.30 USD
Louisiana $7.25 USD Oklahoma $7.25 USD
Mississippi $7.25 USD Oregon $10.25 USD
New Hamsphire $7.25 USD Pennsylvania $7.25 USD
North Carolina $7.25 USD Rhode Island $10.10 USD
North Dakota $7.25 USD South Carolina $7.25 USD
Oklahoma $7.25 USD South Dakota $8.85 USD
Pennsylvania $7.25 USD Tennessee $7.25 USD
South Carolina $7.25 USD Texas $7.25 USD
Tennessee $7.25 USD Utah $7.25 USD
Texas $7.25 USD Vermont $10.50 USD
Utah $7.25 USD Virginia $7.25 USD
Virginia $7.25 USD Washington $11.50 USD
Wisconsin $7.25 USD West Virginia $8.75 USD
Georgia $5.15 USD Wisconsin $7.25 USD
Wyoming $5.15 USD Wyoming $5.15 USD



The minimum wage is set as $7.25 per hour national wide since 24 July, 2009 by the U.S. labor law. Therefore, under the federal, state, and local law, all employers must pay their employees the highest minimum salary prescribed.

Visit National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to view their up-to-date, state-by-state chart.


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