21 States Where the Minimum Wage Is Higher in 2020

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Close to half of U.S. states started off this year with a higher minimum wage, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

Along with minimum wage increases in 26 cities and counties, these states’ pay raises affect more than half of the U.S. population, ABC News reports. They also collectively set a new record for the largest number of minimum wage increases to take effect at the same time.

How state minimum wages go up

State minimum wages can increase in a few ways, including through:

  • Automatic increases tied to the cost of living
  • Legislation passed by state lawmakers
  • Ballot measures passed by voters

This year, the minimum wage increased automatically in seven states: Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota and Vermont.

The basic minimum pay rate increases that started Jan. 1 in the other 14 states were due to ballot initiatives or legislation.

States where the minimum wage is higher this year

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, states where the minimum wage rose with the new year are:

  • Alaska: State minimum wage is now $10.19
  • Arizona: $12
  • Arkansas: $10
  • California: $13 (large employers); $12 (small employers)
  • Colorado: $12
  • Florida: $8.56
  • Illinois: $9.25
  • Maine: $12
  • Maryland: $11
  • Massachusetts: $12.75
  • Michigan: $9.65
  • Minnesota: $10 (large employers); $8.15 (small employers)
  • Missouri: $9.45
  • Montana: $8.65 (large employers); $4 (small employers not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act)
  • New Jersey: $11
  • New Mexico: $9
  • New York: $11.80
  • Ohio: $8.70 (large employers); $7.25 (small employers)
  • South Dakota: $9.30
  • Vermont: $10.96
  • Washington: $13.50

Note that the definitions of large and small employer vary by state. You can learn more about your state’s definitions, if applicable, on the Department of Labor’s state minimum wage law page.

More states will raise their minimum wage later this year, says Paycor, a human resources and payroll technology company. They include:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Nevada
  • Oregon

States where the federal minimum wage applies

In areas where the minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, employees are entitled to the higher rate, according to the Department of Labor.

Where the minimum wage is lower than the federal minimum, the federal rate applies. This includes the states of Georgia and Wyoming, both of which have state minimum wages of $5.15 an hour.

The federal minimum wage also applies in states that have no minimum wage laws. This includes more than a dozen states and territories.

The federal minimum wage hasn’t been increased since 2009. This has been the longest period without a federal minimum wage hike since the federal standard began, in 1938, ABC News says.

What’s your take on this news? Sound off by commenting below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.

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