The minimum wage is the lowest legal amount an employee can be paid by a large company.
In the United States, the minimum wage is declared by the US labor law and is set by each state.
Accordingly, each state has its own average minimum wage, which is usually higher than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Normally, the hourly rates increase every year due to anticipated inflation.
Out of 50 US States, this article contains a list of the top 30 states with the highest minimum wage.
Included in the top five are Washington, DC, California, Washington, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
The state with the highest minimum wage is Washington, DC, offering $15.20 per hour. Although it is a federal district, it is included in the list of highest minimum wages.
Table of Contents
- The States with the Highest Minimum Wages
- 1. Washington, DC – $15.20
- 2. California – $15.00
- 3. Washington – $14.49
- 4. Massachusetts – $14.25
- 5. Connecticut – $14.00
- 6. Oregon – $13.50
- 7. New York – $13.20
- 8. New Jersey – $13.00
- 9. Arizona – $12.80
- 10. Maine – $12.75
- 11. Colorado – $12.56
- 12. Vermont – $12.55
- 13. Maryland – $12.50
- 14. Rhode Island – $12.25
- 15. Illinois – $12.00
- 16. New Mexico – $11.50
- 17. Missouri – $11.15
- 18. Arkansas – $11.00
- 19. Florida – $11.00
- 20. Virginia – $11.00
- 21. Delaware – $10.50
- 22. Alaska – $10.34
- 23. Minnesota – $10.33
- 24. Hawaii – $10.10
- 25. South Dakota – $9.95
- 26. Michigan – $9.87
- 27. Nevada – $9.50
- 28. Ohio – $9.30
- 29. Montana – $9.20
- 30. Nebraska – $9.00
The States with the Highest Minimum Wages
1. Washington, DC – $15.20
Although Washington, DC is not a state but a federal district, we included it in the list since it has the highest minimum wage across the US.
It has an average minimum wage of $15.20 per hour as of 2022.
The District of Columbia Minimum Wage Act increased the previous 2020 minimum wage of $15.00 by $.20.
Moreover, the tipped minimum wage also increased to $5.05.
2. California – $15.00
California is the largest economy in the US, with a 2020 GDP of $3.0 trillion and a labor force of 18,946,000.
Being the center of technology and home to big tech companies such as Silicon Valley and Apple, it comes as no surprise it has the second-highest minimum wage.
Regardless of gender and age, the minimum wage in the state is $15.00 per hour for employers with 26 employees or more.
For employers with 25 or less, the pay is $14.00 an hour.
3. Washington – $14.49
Every year, Washington state increases its minimum wage. January 2021, it was set at $13.69 an hour.
Today, it has now increased to $14.49 per hour for employees working in most agricultural and non-agricultural companies.
However, the minimum wage does not apply to some types of employees including minors, student workers, and apprentices, to name a few.
4. Massachusetts – $14.25
The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $14.25 per hour, a $0.75 increase from the 2021 minimum wage.
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website, it aims to increase it to $15.00 an hour by January 2023.
Working in this state can mean working for several Fortune 500 companies. Moreover, some possible companies to work for can be in the field of technology, education, healthcare, and manufacturing.
5. Connecticut – $14.00
Starting July 2022, Connecticut increased its minimum wage to $14.00, which is $1.00 higher than in 2021.
Those under 18 years old and other types of employees are paid only 85% of the minimum wage.
Connecticut’s major employers are in the finance and insurance industries, which is why it is home to numerous big finance companies including Cigna, GE Capital, and many more.
Moreover, real estate and manufacturing are also leading industries that make up the state’s GDP.
6. Oregon – $13.50
Oregon will increase its minimum wage by July 2022 to $13.50. According to the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, employees are paid $14.00 per hour in the Portland metro, $12.00 per hour in non-urban locations, and a standard pay of $12.75 in other locations.
The state is included in the top states with the highest household income and among the richest states in the country.
Some of the largest corporations are situated in the Beaver State, including Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and FLIR Systems.
7. New York – $13.20
As a hub for the world’s leading banks and finance companies, it’s no surprise New York is the seventh state with the highest minimum wage.
It offers a minimum wage of $13.20 an hour and $15.00 an hour in Long Island and Westchester.
Most industries found in New York are finance, real estate, manufacturing, technology, and media.
It is the center of several Fortune 500 companies including Verizon Communications, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., and Citigroup, among others.
8. New Jersey – $13.00
New Jersey, the Garden State, is the eighth state with the highest minimum wage of $13.00 per hour.
Most types of employees are qualified for the minimum wage except for some such as minors, and employees working in automobile, laundry, and apparel businesses, to name a few.
Also known as the Garden State, it is a city filled with diverse industries including biotech, finance, pharmaceutical, printing, and tourism.
Some of the largest well-known companies in the state are Cognizant, Panasonic, Johnson & Johnson, and Toys R Us.
9. Arizona – $12.80
Arizona offers a minimum wage of $12.80 an hour, an increase from its previous $12.15 wage.
Some examples of workers exempted from the minimum wage are tipped employees, those working in small businesses, and babysitters.
The economy of the state is multifaceted but is dominated by industries in trade, government, education, and healthcare.
The top sectors with the most employees are trade, transportation, and utilities, with about half a million employees.
10. Maine – $12.75
The Pine Tree State, Maine, offers a minimum wage of $12.75 an hour. This comes to about $510 of weekly minimum wage for 40 hours of work.
Most employees benefit from the minimum wage except those working as farmers, taxi drivers, fishermen, and those working for their families.
In 2016, the state had a total of 41,178 employers, where the top corporations are in industrial, agriculture, and shipbuilding.
11. Colorado – $12.56
Colorado State ranks as the 20th largest economy in the country. Its economy thrives from several industries including agriculture, federal agencies, and finance.
Today, the minimum wage is $12.56 per hour, whereas for tipped employees is $9.54. Overall, an employee should receive at least $502.50 a week or $26,124.80 a year.
12. Vermont – $12.55
Vermont, also known as the Green Mountain State, is the 12th state to offer the highest minimum wage.
Employees can expect a minimum wage of $12.55 an hour or $502 a week.
The state ranked 18th in employment, having 21,174 employers and 262,705 total employment.
Its GSP is influenced by diverse industries; although government, real estate, manufacturing, and healthcare are its top contributors.
13. Maryland – $12.50
Maryland’s economy is driven by several large industries, including agriculture, biotechnology, and other growing contributors like banking and finance.
About 81% of the workforce are employed by private companies, whereas 19% by the government.
Employees are given a minimum hourly wage of $12.50 or about $500.00 a week. The minimum wage has a few exceptions such as tipped workers and working students.
14. Rhode Island – $12.25
The economy of the state of Rhode Island thrives on its fishing industry, as well as health care, manufacturing, and tourism.
A few of the state’s largest employers include the State of Rhode Island, Lifespan Hospital Group, and Citizens Financial Group.
Workers in the state receive at least $12.50 an hour or $500.00 a week for 40 hours of work. If an employee works more than 40 hours, they are expected to receive an overtime wage of $18.38 an hour.
15. Illinois – $12.00
The state of Illinois ranks fifth in the largest GDP in the country and 15th on the list of highest minimum wages.
Its economy is powered by several large companies in the financial, manufacturing, and agricultural industries.
In 2022, Illinois has an hourly minimum wage of $12.00 and $7.20 for tipped employees. For minors working less than 650 hours a year, they are paid $9.25 an hour.
16. New Mexico – $11.50
New Mexico’s economy is fueled by diverse industries including oil production, manufacturing, dairy, government, and tourism.
The state has a total workforce of about 934,200, working in various major employers such as the State of New Mexico, Walmart, and Presbyterian Healthcare.
Although the minimum wage is $11.50 an hour, it still varies according to localities. For instance, the minimum wage in Albuquerque is $11.50, Santa Fe is $12.32, and Las Cruces is $10.50.
17. Missouri – $11.15
The total number of employed people in Missouri is approximately 2,494,720, working across 160,912 employer establishments.
Some of its largest industries include agriculture, finance, food production, manufacturing, and tourism.
Its minimum wage increased to $11.15 from its previous rate of $10.30. By January 2023, the state aims to increase it even further up to $12.00 an hour.
18. Arkansas – $11.00
Out of 50 US states, Arkansas ranks 41st with the best workforce and 18th with the highest minimum wage.
It is home to six Fortune 500 companies and other large public and private companies including Walmart, Tyson Foods, Dillard’s, and Golden Living.
Arkansas has a minimum wage of $11.00 in 2022, which is the same rate as 2021. It is one of the few states that did not increase the minimum wage.
19. Florida – $11.00
The Sunshine State of Florida is the fourth-largest economy in the country, which is driven by agriculture, healthcare, tourism, banking, education, and trade industries.
Starting September 30, 2022, the minimum wage will be $11.00 per hour, $1.00 higher than the previous wage.
The tipped wage is $6.98 an hour, whereas those under training and below 20 years old are given $4.25.
For full-time high school students and part-time college students, the pay is usually 85% of the minimum wage.
20. Virginia – $11.00
In 2022, Virginia raised its minimum wage to $11.00 an hour from its 2021 wage of $9.50. Workers can also expect an increase in 2023 of up to $12.00 an hour.
Seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Old Dominion state. Moreover, it also has a Federal Reserve bank and has the most employees in the US army.
21. Delaware – $10.50
By 2025, Delaware aims to produce an hourly minimum wage of $15.00. At present, workers receive a $10.50 hourly minimum wage, which is a $1.25 increase from the 2021 rate.
The state’s major industries include government, education, healthcare, agriculture, and banking.
Some of its top employers are the State of Delaware, the University of Delaware, Bank of America, and Bayhealth Medical Center.
22. Alaska – $10.34
The 22nd state on the list is Alaska, also known as the Last Frontier state. It has a total labor force of 372,900 and an unemployment rate of 5.9%.
Employees can expect a minimum wage of $10.32 per hour, the same rate as 2021. In total, employees receive a minimum wage of $413.60 per week or $21,507.20 per year.
23. Minnesota – $10.33
The state of Minnesota is home to 2,995,400 working residents. 31 large public companies are situated in the North Star State including Target, Best Buy, 3M, and UnitedHealth Group.
As for private companies, some of the most well-known are Cargill, Carlson, and Schwan Food Company.
Large companies are expected to pay the minimum wage of $10.33, whereas small companies should pay only $8.42 per hour.
24. Hawaii – $10.10
Since 2018, Hawaii hasn’t increased its minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. However, the Senate aims to increase the minimum wage to $18 per hour by 2026 through the Senate Bill.
The largest industry in Hawaii is tourism, constituting about 24% of its GSP. Other important industries for its economy are education, food production, exports, and pineapple.
25. South Dakota – $9.95
The tertiary sector dominates the economy of South Dakota, which includes several industries such as finance, banking, retail, and healthcare.
Included in the state’s top 10 largest employers are Sanford health, Monument Health, Rapid City Regional Hospital, Sioux Falls, and the Black Hills.
Generally, workers receive $9.94 an hour, which is $398.00 a week in total. Tipped employees must be paid $4.98 an hour, $8.46 for students, and $4.25 for those under 20.
26. Michigan – $9.87
Michigan has over 3,800,000 employed residents working across 222,553 companies. Among the top public companies located in Michigan are General Motors, Ford, Dow, Whirlpool, Lear, and Kellogg’s.
Other major industries for its economy are Christmas tree production, technology, mining, and food production.
From $9.65 an hour, the state’s minimum wage increased to $9.87 an hour or $20,529.60 a year.
27. Nevada – $9.50
The casino industry, tourism, and entertainment are among Nevada’s largest economic contributors.
Moreover, mining and cattle ranching are also large sectors of its economy.
Nevada has a minimum wage of $9.75 per hour or $390.00 per hour for 40 hours of work. If working overtime, workers are paid a minimum of $14.63 overtime wage.
28. Ohio – $9.30
The Mother of Presidents, Ohio, is the 28th state with the largest minimum wage of $9.30 an hour.
Its minimum wage increased from $8.70 and $8.80.
Among the top ten employers of the state are the Cleveland Clinic Health System, Kroger, Ohio State University, Mercy Health Partners, and Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Cleveland Clinic Health System has the highest number of Ohio employees, about 50,825 in Cleveland.
29. Montana – $9.20
From $8.75 in 2021, Montana increased its minimum wage to $9.20 per hour. In total, it amounts to $368 per week and $19,136 per year.
In 2018, the total labor force was 371,239, with a total of 38,720 employer establishments. The most notable economic driving force of the state is beer microbrewing as well as lumber and tourism.
30. Nebraska – $9.00
The top 30 state with the highest minimum wage is Nebraska, also known as the Cornhusker State.
It has a total of 884,450 working residents and 54,265 employers as of 2016.
The minimum wage in Nebraska is $9.00 per hour, which has stayed the same since 2016. Full-time employees can expect to receive a minimum daily wage of $72.00 and a weekly minimum wage of $360.00.