Law

Update: 2021 Minimum Wage by State

December 17, 2020

What you need to know about the minimum wage.

Image of $7.25 in cash, which is the 2021 federal minimum wage.

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.

Related:  Tick Tock - On the Clock

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$7.25No state minimum wage.
Alaska $10.19 $10.34  
Arizona $12.00 $12.15  
Arkansas $10.00 $11.00  
California  $13.00 $14.00*  
Colorado $12.00 $12.32  
Connecticut $12.00 $13.00New rate goes into effect 8/1/21
Delaware $9.25$9.25  
Washington D.C. $15.00 $15.00  
Florida $8.56 $10.00New rate goes into effect 9/30/21
Georgia $5.15$5.15FLSA employers must pay federal minimum wage.
Hawaii $10.10 $10.10  
Idaho $7.25 $7.25  
Illinois $10.00 $11.00  
Indiana $7.25 $7.25  
Iowa $7.25 $7.25  
Kansas $7.25 $7.25  
Kentucky $7.25 $7.25  
Louisiana $7.25$7.25No state minimum wage.
Maine $12.00 $12.15  
Maryland $11.00 $11.75New rate applies to 15+ employees/ $11.60 for 14- ee
Massachusetts $12.75 $13.50  
Michigan $9.65 $9.87 
Minnesota $10.00 $10.08New rate applies to large employers / $8.21 for small employers
Mississippi $7.25$7.25No state minimum wage.
Missouri $9.45 $10.30  
Montana $8.65 $8.75  
Nebraska $9.00 $9.00  
Nevada $8.00 $8.75New rate goes into effect 7/1/21 and applies to employees offered health insurance / $9.75 for others
New Hampshire $7.25) $7.25  
New Jersey $11.00 $12.00New rate applies to non-seasonal 6+ employees / $11.00 for seasonal -5 ee 
New Mexico $9.00 $10.50  
New York $11.80 $12.50Higher local minimum wage rules
North Carolina $7.25 $7.25  
North Dakota $7.25 $7.25  
Ohio $8.70 $8.80  
Oklahoma $7.25 $7.25  
Oregon $12.00 $12.75New rate goes into effect 7/1/21 / Higher local minimum wage rules
Pennsylvania $7.25 $7.25  
Rhode Island $10.50 $11.50  
South Carolina $7.25$7.25No state minimum wage.
South Dakota $9.30 $9.45  
Tennessee $7.25$7.25No state minimum wage.
Texas $7.25 $7.25  
Utah $7.25 $7.25  
Vermont $10.96 $11.75  
Virginia $7.25 $7.25  
Washington $13.50 $13.69  
West Virginia $8.75 $8.75  
Wisconsin $7.25 $7.25  
Wyoming $5.15$5.15FLSA employers must pay federal minimum wage.
Chart of the 2020 and 2021 Minimum Wage Rates by State

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.

Image of $7.25 (which is the federal minimum wage) cash sitting on top of a U.S. map.


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