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Minimum Wage by State

Last updated October 28, 2021

The term “minimum wage” gets thrown around a lot in our politics and if you’re searching for a job it is likely top of mind. We’re here to explain what it is, the different types, and how to find out what you can expect to make in your state!

What is the minimum wage?

The US minimum wage was created by the federal government to ensure workers’ rights to a livable earning. The first minimum wage was 25 cents per hour and didn’t actually cover all workers yet. Over time, the federal government (as well as state and local governments) have made changes to the minimum wage, raising it periodically and making it more inclusive of all workers.

Is the state minimum wage different from the federal minimum wage?

Each state in the US has the power to set its own minimum wage. It cannot be lower than the federal minimum wage, but it can be higher. For example, California has the highest wage at $14 per hour, while the US federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Some states - such as Louisiana and Tennessee - do not have their own minimum wage set, and use the federal one. Most cities and local governments have the power to set their own minimum wage, too.

What about minimum wage if you earn tips?

There is a separate minimum wage set by the federal government if tips make up a substantial part of your paycheck - like wait staff at restaurants. The federal “tipped minimum wage” is $2.13 per hour, meaning no matter how many tips you make in a shift, you must be paid at least $2.13 per hour by your employer. Just like the normal minimum wage, each state and most cities and local governments can set their own tipped wage, as well.

What is the minimum wage in my state?

Click on the map below to be taken to an interactive graphic of each state’s minimum wage and tipped minimum wage!

Min Wage by State_Interactive

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