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Federal and State Minimum Wages

RAND State Statistics recently updated its Federal and State Minimum Wages database containing minimum wages for the U.S., 50 states, and U.S. territories. State minimum wages are typically increased around January 1st. States with no set minimum wage are not included in these data; these include Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

 

Some states set wage ranges, typically with lower rates for women and minors. For more information, see History of Changes to the Minimum Wage Law, U.S. Department of Labor.  In states with a range, we report the lowest minimum wage.  For example, New York had a minimum wage that ranged from $11.80-$15.00 in 2020; the Basic Minimum Rate (per hour) is $11.80, $12.00 in Long Island & Winchester, and $15.00 in New York City. 

 

Minimum wages have increased in a number of states over the last year. Virginia had the highest state minimum wage growth, from $7.25 to $9.50, a 31.0% increase, followed by New Mexico (16.7%), Arkansas (10.0%), Illinois (10.0%), and Nevada (9.4%). A number of states have not increased the minimum wage for several years, including Ohio, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Utah, and Texas. See Figure 1 for states with the highest and lowest increases.

 

Figure 1— Federal and State Minimum Wages by State, 2020 - 2021

 

State minimum wages grew less from 2010-2015 (See Figure 2). Montana had the largest increase, from $4.00 in 2010 to $8.05 in 2015, growth of 101.3%, followed by Minnesota (38.1%), the District of Columbia (27.3%), Puerto Rico (23.9%), and Rhode Island (21.6%). Minimum wages were flat in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Utah, and Texas. The minimum wage actually fell slightly in Ohio, from $7.30 to $7.25.

 

Figure 2— Federal and State Minimum Wages by State, 2010 - 2015

 

2016-2021 showed more significant growth in state minimum wages, with a 144.2% increase in the U.S. Virgin Islands, from $4.30 to $10.50. Significant growth also occurred in Maine (62.0%), Arizona (50.9%), Colorado (48.3%), and the District of Columbia (44.8%).

 

Figure 3— Federal and State Minimum Wages by State, 2016 - 2021

 

Over the entire 2010 to 2021 period, the largest growth also occurred in the U.S. Virgin Islands (See Table 1). Significant growth also occurred in the District of Columbia (84.2%), Arkansas (76.0%), New York (72.4%), and Colorado (70.2%) (See Figure 4)

 

Table 1—Federal and State Minimum Wages by State, 2010 - 2021

 

Figure 4— Federal and State Minimum Wages by State, 2010 - 2021

 

Category: Business & Economics