With rising inflation many states are raising the minimum wages for workers, often above the mandated federal minimum. This is good news for lower-income workers, where the minimum wage is barely enough to survive on.
Note that the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 and remains unchanged this year. However each state also set’s their minimum wage and where greater than the federal rate, the state minimum wage is in effect.
Further most employers do pay above the minimum wage with only around 1.1 million workers (1.4% of all hourly workers) getting wages at or below the federal minimum level according to the US BLS.
Per the minimum wage (MW) table below, the District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage at $16.10/hour. The majority of states have a state minimum wage that is above federal levels.
2023 Minimum Wage Increase
In 2023, 23 states have raised the minimum wage as of January 1st, with four more plus Puerto Rico and D.C. set to raise their state minimum wage later in the year.
While there has been a decade long push to increase the federal minimum wage (to $15 like Government employees get), Congress and various administrations in the past have been unable to do so. This is why there is so much disparity at the state and federal level. Eighteen states do have annual adjustments in place to keep pace with inflation.
The good news is that in many of the states and territories (34) where the minimum wage is higher than the prevailing federal rate – generally higher cost of living areas – there is a strong push in 2023 to continue raising the minimum wages as inflation soars.
2023 Minimum Wage (MW) Table – State vs Federal
The table shows the current minimum wage in states versus the Federal minimum wage ($7.25).
|State MW > Federal MW||Equals federal MW|
|AK – $10.85||CNMI|
|AR – $11.00||GA|
|AZ – $13.85||IA|
|CA – $15.50||ID|
|CO – $13.65||IN|
|CT – $14.00||KS|
|DC – $16.50||KY|
|DE – $11.75||NC|
|FL – $11.00||ND|
|HI – $12.00||NH|
|IL – $13.00||OK|
|MA – $15.00||PA|
|MD – $13.25||TX|
|ME – $13.80||UT|
|MI – $10.10||WI|
|MN – $10.59||WY|
|MO – $12.00||AL (no state MW)|
|MT – $9.95||LA (no state MW)|
|NE – $10.50||MS (no state MW)|
|NJ – $14.13||SC (no state MW|
|NM – $12.00||TN (no state MW)|
|NV – $10.50/9.50|
|NY – $14.20|
|OH – $10.10|
|OR – $13.50|
|PR – $8.50|
|RI – $13.00|
|SD – $10.80|
|VA – $12.00|
|VT – $13.18|
|WA – $15.74|
|WV – $8.75|
|VI – $10.50|
|GU – $9.25|
What is my minimum wage – State vs Federal?
Where states may have different minimum wage requirements to federal standards; and where federal and state law have different minimum wage rates, the higher rate applies.
Thus the federal minimum wage law supersedes state minimum wage laws where the federal minimum wage is greater than the state minimum wage.
Alternatively, in those states where the state minimum wage is greater than the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage prevails.
30 States + DC, GU, & VI have a minimum wage greater than the federal wage. 15 + PR, CNMI have the same federal and state minimum wage. While 5 states have no minimum wage requirement.
Does the minimum wage adjust for inflation?
Some states do, while others adjust following state-based legislative action.
Only Eighteen states – AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, ME, MN, MO, MT, NV, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, SD, and WA – currently have adjustments for their minimum wages on an annual basis, often tied to COLA. Most of these increases occur around January 1st.
What other government programs and tax credits can I get?
There are many other government programs and tax credits for those on the minimum wage, which have also seen significant increases this year. This includes the SNAP (Food Stamp), Earned Income Credit (EIC) and the many pandemic stimulus checks that are yet to be claimed via filing a free tax return.