Minimum wage is an important aspect of U.S. labor laws. After all, it is our country’s best effort to create a fair workplace, where wages are concerned. Therefore, minimum wage evaluations and updates will likely be a permanent occurrence.
Here is what you need to know about the minimum wage, as well as the published minimum wage rates by state.
Minimum Wage Variables
Now, minimum wage is not as straightforward as one would hope. In fact, there are quite a number of variables that affect minimum wage. These variables include the following:
- State laws
- Local laws
- Size of business
- Type of employee (seasonal)
Notably, the federal minimum wage differs from the minimum wage set by state. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009, with the overtime rate set at 1.5 times the minimum wage for hours worked over 40. The state minimum wage may be higher, lower, or the same as the federal minimum wage. However, workers are entitled to the higher of the minimum wages when state and federal differ. Furthermore, employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25 Federal minimum wage. Wyoming, for example, is a state that follows this mandate.
Controversy Surrounding Minimum Wage
While the minimum wage is an effort to provide fair wages to U.S. employees, it is not without controversy. Especially considering the federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009, many argue the minimum wage is too low. At the same time, others argue that the establishment of a minimum wage at all hurts poor, under skilled, and younger workers.
2021 Minimum Wage by State
For your reference, here is a list of the current minimum wage by state through the end of 2020. Then, the following column contains the minimum wage established for 2021. Furthermore, the right-hand column provides important notes specific to that state. Please be aware, this is the minimum wage by state, and thus the federal minimum wage will remain $7.25.
|State||2020 Minimum Wage||2021 Minimum Wage||Notes|
|Alabama||$7.25||$7.25||No state minimum wage.|
|Connecticut||$12.00||$13.00||New rate goes into effect 8/1/21|
|Florida||$8.56||$10.00||New rate goes into effect 9/30/21|
|Georgia||$5.15||$5.15||FLSA employers must pay federal minimum wage.|
|Louisiana||$7.25||$7.25||No state minimum wage.|
|Maryland||$11.00||$11.75||New rate applies to 15+ employees/ $11.60 for 14- ee|
|Minnesota||$10.00||$10.08||New rate applies to large employers / $8.21 for small employers|
|Mississippi||$7.25||$7.25||No state minimum wage.|
|Nevada||$8.00||$8.75||New rate goes into effect 7/1/21 and applies to employees offered health insurance / $9.75 for others|
|New Jersey||$11.00||$12.00||New rate applies to non-seasonal 6+ employees / $11.00 for seasonal -5 ee|
|New York||$11.80||$12.50||Higher local minimum wage rules|
|Oregon||$12.00||$12.75||New rate goes into effect 7/1/21 / Higher local minimum wage rules|
|South Carolina||$7.25||$7.25||No state minimum wage.|
|Tennessee||$7.25||$7.25||No state minimum wage.|
|Wyoming||$5.15||$5.15||FLSA employers must pay federal minimum wage.|
Staying on Top of Minimum Wage
Although not everyone agrees about the existence of a minimum wage, it is not likely something that will go away in the near future. So, in the meantime, we continue to stay apprised of frequent updates to federal and state minimum wage laws. If employers abide by this, then they will stay in compliance with minimum wage requirements.