Federal and State Minimum Wage Rates

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How much is an employer required to pay you? The minimum wage is the hourly rate that employers are mandated to pay employees. However, there are exceptions to minimum wage requirements based on occupation, age, and employment status, and the minimum wage rate can vary based on federal, state, and local laws. In addition, many employers have a company minimum wage that is higher than the legal requirements.

Most employees, with some exceptions, must be paid at least the federal minimum wage. If they work in a city or state with a higher minimum wage, they will receive the higher amount.

Review information on minimum wage rates, when employers are required to pay minimum wage, employees exempt from minimum wage requirements, and locations with higher minimum wage rates than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

Key Takeaways

  • Many states have minimum wage rates higher than the federal minimum.
  • Some city/county/state government employers and companies have higher minimum wage rates than the state minimum.
  • In some states, a separate minimum wage has been set for small employers, and there may be other exceptions to the standard rate.
  • Many companies have set a minimum wage for their employees that is higher than the federal rate.

What Is The Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage rate is the lowest hourly pay that can be awarded to workers, also known as a pay floor. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) determines the minimum wage for employees in private and public sectors, in both federal and state governments. Under the FLSA, non-exempt employees eligible must be paid the minimum wage or higher.

Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage in 2022 is $7.25 per hour and has not increased since July 2009. However, some states, cities, and counties have a higher minimum wage rate.


When the state, city, or county minimum wage rate is higher than the federal rate, employers are required to pay workers the higher amount.

Minimum Wage for Federal Contract Workers

Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum wage rate, which generally must be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts, is $16.25 per hour.

Additionally, effective January 1, 2023, tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts generally must be paid a minimum wage of $13.75 per hour.

Federal Exemptions From Minimum Wage

Some employees are exempt from federal minimum wage requirements, such as those who are not protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employees who receive tips, such as restaurant servers, for example, can be paid at a lower rate than minimum wage.

Other federal exemptions (state laws may vary) to minimum wage include the following:

  • Babysitters on a casual basis
  • Companions for the elderly
  • Employees of certain seasonal amusement and recreational establishments
  • Farmworkers on small farms
  • Federal criminal investigators
  • Fishing workers
  • Homeworkers making wreaths
  • Newspaper delivery workers
  • Newspaper employees of limited-circulation newspapers
  • Seamen on foreign vessels
  • Some students and student-learners
  • Switchboard operators
  • Workers with disabilities
  • Young workers

State Minimum Wage Rates

Some states set a minimum wage rate that is higher than the federal minimum. As of August 2022, 30 states and Washington D.C. have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.

Minimum Wage Rates for 2023 Listed by State

The minimum wage across the country varies from the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 per hour in many states to as high as $15.00 per hour in California and $16.10 per hour in Washington D.C.


To get the minimum wage for your state, select from the drop-down menu or click on the map on the U.S. Department of Labor's State Minimum Wage Laws page.

Cities and Counties With Higher Minimum Wages

There are 46 localities that have adopted minimum wages above their state minimum wage, including Alameda, California; Belmont, California; Berkeley, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; Cook County, Illinois; Cupertino, California; Denver, Colorado; East Palo Alto, California; El Cerrito, California; Emeryville, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Fremont, California; Hayward, California; Los Altos, California; Los Angeles County, California; Los Angeles, California; Malibu, California; Milpitas, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Montgomery County, Maryland; Mountain View, California; Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, New York; New York City, New York; Novato, California; Oakland, California; Palo Alto, California; Pasadena, California; Petaluma, California; Portland Urban Growth Boundary, Oregon; Portland, Maine; Redwood City, California; Richmond, California; San Francisco, California; San Jose, California; San Mateo, California; Santa Clara, California; Santa Fe City, New Mexico; Santa Fe County, New Mexico; Santa Monica, California; Santa Rosa, California; SeaTac, Washington; Seattle, Washington; Sonoma, California; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Sunnyvale, California.


Minimum wage rates may change during the calendar year. Check with your state department of labor for rates and wages specific to your location.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do if my employer isn't paying me minimum wage?

If you aren't an employee who is exempt from minimum wage requirements, check with your company's Human Resources department to inquire about your eligibility to be paid minimum wage. You can also visit the How To File a Complaint section of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division for information on how to proceed.

Does the minimum wage increase every year?

Legislation has to be passed to increase the federal minimum wage. The last time it was adjusted was in 2009. In some states, the minimum wage is indexed to inflation, which means it will automatically increase each year. In others, the minimum wage is increased by state or local legislation.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Labor. "Minimum Wage."

  2. U.S. Department of Labor. "Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act."

  3. U.S. Department of Labor. "Minimum Wage for Federal Contracts Covered by Executive Order 14026, Notice of Rate Change in Effect as of January 1, 2023."

  4. Department of Labor. "Fact Sheet #15: Tipped Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)."

  5. U.S. Department of Labor. "Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor: Exemptions."

  6. The Economic Policy Institute. "Minimum Wage Tracker."

  7. District of Columbia. "Minimum Wage."

  8. U.S. Department of Labor. "Consolidated Minimum Wage Table."

  9. CA.gov. "Minimum Wage."

  10. U.S. Department of Labor. "Questions and Answers About the Minimum Wage."

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