Raising the Minimum Wage

Stagnant income is the crisis of our time. Thanks to the productivity of America’s workers, the US economy is nearly twice as large per capita as it was in 1980—but most families have nothing to show for it.  Corporate profits as a share of our national income are at an all-time high, while wages are at a 65-year low.

Raising the minimum wage is one of the best tools we have to lift incomes and grow our consumer-driven economy.  But in the past 40 years, the federal minimum wage—stuck at $7.25 since 2009—has lost 30% of its value.  In Washington and in states and cities around the country, NELP is fighting for a wage families can live on – and an economy that works for all of us.

States: 7,000,000; Congress: 0

Yes, that’s a ‘Zero’ – and no, it’s not a typo: the number of people who will see their pay rise due to an increase in the federal minimum wage stands at 0.

7-million-0

That’s because Congress has not taken action to raise the federal minimum, which has remained stuck at a poverty-level $7.25 per hour since 2009.

Meanwhile, in just the past two years, thirteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted minimum wage increases, raising pay for 7 million workers, according to a recent White House estimate.

Those jurisdictions include California, D.C., New Jersey and New York, which passed increases in 2013, and Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia, which passed increases this year.

Congressional Republicans continue to stymie efforts to raise the federal minimum wage. In April, 41 Senators – all Republican – voted to block a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over three years.  In the House, 195 Representatives have signed a petition to try and force a vote on a similar bill, but House Republican leaders have pledged not to bring it to the floor.

Even as states and localities continue to move ahead, Congressional inaction is leaving 28 million of the nation’s lowest-paid workers behind – and falling further back as price increases continue to erode the value of minimum wage workers’ pay.

To see where the minimum wage is currently, and where it’s headed in the future in your state check out our interactive table.

What’s the minimum wage in your state?

After years of Congressional gridlock, a record number of states have started taking action in recent years to raise the minimum wage.

  • 29 states, plus the District of Columbia, have set their minimum wage above the federal level of $7.25 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2015
  • 15 states, plus the District of Columbia, index their minimum wages to rise automatically with the cost of living. 10 states currently index minimum wage increases each year: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon and Washington. Five more states, plus the District of Columbia, will index minimum wage increases annually beginning in future years: Alaska (2017), D.C. (2017), Michigan (2019), Minnesota (2018), South Dakota (2016) and Vermont (2019).
  • 8 states (Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington) have set the tipped minimum wage equal to the value of the full minimum wage, ensuring that tipped workers are paid the full minimum wage directly by their employer.

See the list below for the minimum wage in each state.

State 2015 2016 2017 2018
Alabama $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Alaska ** $8.75 $9.75 $9.75 $9.75
Arizona * $8.05 $8.20 $8.45 $8.65
Arkansas $7.50 $8.00 $8.50 $8.50
California $9.00 $10.00 $10.00 $10.00
Colorado * $8.23 $8.30 $8.41 $8.60
Connecticut $9.15 $9.60 $10.10 $10.10
Delaware $8.25 $8.25 $8.25 $8.25
District of Columbia ** $10.50 $11.50 $11.50 $11.50
Florida * $8.05 $8.22 $8.42 $8.61
Georgia $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Hawaii $7.75 $8.50 $9.25 $10.10
Idaho $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Illinois $8.25 $8.25 $8.25 $8.25
Indiana $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Iowa $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Kansas $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Kentucky $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Louisiana $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Maine $7.50 $7.50 $7.50 $7.50
Maryland $8.25 $8.75 $9.25 $10.10
Massachusetts $9.00 $10.00 $11.00 $11.00
Michigan ** $8.15 $8.50 $8.90 $9.25
Minnesota ** $9.00 $9.50 $9.50 $9.71
Mississippi $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Missouri * $7.65 $7.80 $7.90 $8.05
Montana * $8.05 $8.20 $8.45 $8.65
Nebraska $8.00 $9.00 $9.00 $9.00
Nevada * $8.25 $8.25 $8.25 $8.25
New Hampshire $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
New Jersey * $8.38 $8.59 $8.78 $8.97
New Mexico $7.50 $7.50 $7.50 $7.50
New York $8.75 $9.00 $9.00 $9.00
North Carolina $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
North Dakota $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Ohio * $8.10 $8.30 $8.50 $8.70
Oklahoma $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Oregon * $9.25 $9.45 $9.65 $9.86
Pennsylvania $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Rhode Island $9.00 $9.00 $9.00 $9.00
South Carolina $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
South Dakota ** $8.50 $8.50 $8.50 $8.50
Tennessee $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Texas $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Utah $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Vermont ** $9.15 $9.60 $10.00 $10.50
Virginia $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Washington * $9.47 $9.67 $9.87 $10.09
West Virginia $8.00 $8.75 $8.75 $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25
Wyoming $7.25 $7.25 $7.25 $7.25

* States that currently index minimum wage increases annually to rise with the cost of living. Projected indexed minimum wages are based on Congressional Budget Office projections.

** States that will index minimum wage increases annually beginning in future years. Projected indexed minimum wages are based on Congressional Budget Office projections.

 

RaiseTheMinimumWage.org

NELP’s Raise the Minimum Wage website is the best online repository of information on the minimum wage and on campaigns to raise wages around the country.

RTMW-Website
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