Somewhere between $5.15 and $16 an hour: A guide to minimum wage by state in the US.

The start of 2023 will also mark the start of historically high minimum hourly wages in some states. Twenty-one states and 41 cities and counties will raise their minimum wages on or about Jan. 1, with many looking toward a $15 hourly pay floor.

Democratic members of Congress proposed raising the federal minimum hourly wage last year, advocating for today’s $7.25 an hour to increase to $15 by 2025.

The bill also proposes increased wages for tipped, newly hired and young employees as well as individuals with disabilities, who are often subject to a separate, lower minimum wage.

Minimum wage is going up in these states: Is yours one of them?

What state has the highest minimum wage?

Washington, D.C. boasts the nation’s highest minimum wage at $16.10 an hour, according to the Department of Labor. But if we’re getting technical, the northwest state of Washington has the highest consolidated state minimum wage in the U.S. at $14.49 an hour. Some Californians also enjoy a minimum wage of $15 per hour, though employees with 25 or fewer employees are exempt and can pay a $14 hourly rate.

Washington will maintain its top spot come the new year, when minimum wage will be $15.74 per hour. California's minimum wage will also raise in January 2023, becoming $15.50 per hour for all employees.

Parts of New York also have a $15 per hour minimum wage, including New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties.

But high minimum wages usually go hand-in-hand with high living expenses. In D.C. the cost of living is about 59% above the U.S. average, and in Manhattan it’s around 138%, a Kiplinger analysis of a Cost of Living Index found.

Workers and family members take part in a 15-city walkout to demand $15hr wages Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in front of a McDonald's restaurant in Sanford, Fla.
Workers and family members take part in a 15-city walkout to demand $15hr wages Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in front of a McDonald's restaurant in Sanford, Fla.

What state has the lowest minimum wage?

While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, two states have minimum wages lower than that. Wyoming and Georgia both have basic minimum hourly rates of $5.15.

Georgia employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay employees the federal minimum wage. According to Georgia Legal Aid, employers whose annual sales are $500,000 or more or who are engaged in interstate commerce must follow the FLSA.

The same is true in Wyoming. In both states, those who fall under exceptions to FLSA may be paid less than federal minimum wage. These exceptions include farm and seasonal workers, informal workers like babysitters, newspaper deliverers, tipped employees (who receive a special tipped minimum wage), minors, full time students, employees with disabilities and certain minimum wage exempt organizations.

Five states — Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee — have no minimum wage required and default to the federal minimum wage. Fifteen states have a minimum wage equal to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, the DOL reports.

What is the minimum wage in my state?

Minimum wages per hour in each state, according to the DOL:

  • Alabama: $7.25, no minimum wage required

  • Alaska: $10.34

  • Arizona: $12.80

  • Arkansas: $11.00

  • California: $14.00

  • Colorado: $12.56

  • Connecticut: $14.00

  • Delaware: $10.50

  • Florida: $10.00

  • Georgia: $5.15

  • Hawaii: $12.00

  • Idaho: $7.25

  • Illinois: $12.00

  • Indiana: $7.25

  • Iowa: $7.25

  • Kansas: $7.25

  • Kentucky: $7.25

  • Louisiana: $7.25, no minimum wage required

  • Maine: $12.75

  • Maryland: $12.50

  • Massachusetts: $14.25

  • Michigan: $9.87

  • Minnesota: $10.33 ($8.42 for small employers with annual revenue less than $500,000)

  • Mississippi: $7.25, no minimum wage required

  • Missouri: $11.15

  • Montana: $9.20 ($4.00 for businesses not covered by FLSA with annual salaries of $110,000 or less)

  • Nebraska: $9.00

  • Nevada: $10.50 ($9.50 if the employee is offered health benefits)

  • New Hampshire: $7.25

  • New Jersey: $13.00 ($11.90 per hour for seasonal and small employers)

  • New Mexico: $11.50

  • New York: $13.20 ($15.00 for New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties)

  • North Carolina: $7.25

  • North Dakota: $7.25

  • Ohio: $9.30 ($7.25 for employers with annual receipts under $342,000)

  • Oklahoma: $7.25

  • Oregon: $13.50

  • Pennsylvania: $7.25

  • Rhode Island: $12.25

  • South Carolina: $7.25, no minimum wage required

  • South Dakota: $9.95

  • Tennessee: $7.25, no minimum wage required

  • Texas: $7.25

  • Utah: $7.25

  • Vermont: $12.55

  • Virginia: $11.00

  • Washington: $14.49

  • West Virginia: $8.75

  • Wisconsin: $7.25

  • Wyoming: $5.15

Washington D.C. has a minimum wage of $16.10, Guam’s minimum wage is $9.25, the Virgin Islands' is $10.50 an hour and the Northern Mariana Islands has a $7.25 minimum wage.

Puerto Rico has a $8.50 an hour minimum wage for employees covered by FLSA and a $5.08 per hour wage minimum for those not. American Samoa has a special wage rate that is industry-specific and increases $0.40 per hour every three years until the rate reaches federal minimum wage.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What state has the highest minimum wage? US broken down state by state