19 States Where the Minimum Wage Is Growing in 2019

Author: Maurie Backman | April 24, 2019

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Wages are going up

Across the country, countless workers struggle to stay afloat financially on minimum-wage salaries. If you're one of them, here's some good news: There are 19 states where the minimum wage is rising in 2019. And that might provide the financial relief you've been seeking.

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1. Alaska

In Alaska the minimum wage is rising from $9.84 to $9.89 as a result of automatic adjustments for inflation. Though Alaska residents do get paid to live there, it's an expensive corner of the country nonetheless due to its remote location.

ALSO READ: How to Save for Retirement on a Minimum Wage

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2. Arizona

The minimum wage in Arizona is jumping from $10.50 up to $11. This wage hike was voted in, and will no doubt help ease the burden on lower-income households. Still, with a cost of living that's a bit above the national average, living on $11 an hour isn't easy.

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3. Arkansas

In Arkansas, the minimum wage is rising from $8.50 an hour to $9.25. Once again, this hike was voted in to provide relief for local workers. And while $9.25 an hour isn't a lot of money, it goes further in Arkansas, where the cost of housing is well below the national median.

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4. California

California is one of the most expensive states in the country, so lower earners will no doubt relish the fact that wages are climbing. The statewide minimum wage will rise from $11 to $12, but some areas will see higher numbers. In Mountain View, for example, the minimum wage will jump to $15.65, and in San Jose, it will reach $15.

ALSO READ: 15 Chains That Pay More Than Minimum Wage

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5. Colorado

The minimum wage is jumping from $10.20 an hour to $11.10 in Colorado, but it may not be enough to keep lower-earners put. Housing costs have been climbing across the state in recent years, particularly in major metro areas like Denver, making it more difficult for low-income households to keep up.

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6. Delaware

Delaware workers will see a minimum wage hike of $0.50 this year, raising the former $8.25 an hour up to $8.75. Still, that's not a lot to exist on given the cost of living in Delaware. Though it's less expensive to live there than most other states across the East Coast, it's by no means cheap.

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7. Florida

Despite the fact that Florida doesn't have a state income tax, its cost of living is still a bit above average compared to the rest of the country. Therefore, the fact that the minimum wage is rising from $8.25 to $8.46 might help lower-income households just a bit. That small nudge, by the way, is a function of an inflation adjustment -- hence the stinginess.

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Portland Head Light, Portland, Maine

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8. Maine

Lower earners in Maine are getting a big boost, with the minimum wage rising from $10 an hour to $11. Still, the living isn't all easy in Maine. Though home prices in much of the state are affordable, the Portland area, where jobs are most abundant, has grown prohibitively expensive for many.

ALSO READ: Will a National $15 Minimum Wage Really Benefit Workers?

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Gay Head light house at Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

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9. Massachusetts

Thanks to state legislature, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is climbing from $11 an hour to $12 an hour. But that won't help most lower earners keep up. The cost of living in Massachusetts is considerably higher than that of the rest of the state, largely due to inflated home prices. 

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10. Michigan

In Michigan, the minimum wage is rising from $9.25 to $9.45 -- something legislators had to fight for. But with a relatively low cost of living compared to the rest of the country, that boost might really help lower earners get by.

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11. Minnesota

Minnesota workers are getting a bump this year as well, with the minimum wage going from $9.65 to $9.85 an hour. Still, many lower-income households are apt to struggle in that very cold neck of the woods, since the cost of living in Minnesota still surpasses that of the national average.

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Stream running through Glacier National Park, Montana

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12. Montana

Thanks to inflation, the minimum wage in Montana is rising from $8.30 an hour to $8.50. It's not a huge bump, and considering that the cost of living in Montana is right around the national average, it'll likely leave lower-income workers wanting more.

ALSO READ: Why a McDonald's $15 Minimum Wage Wouldn't Be as Big as Amazon's

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13. New Jersey

Minimum wage earners in New Jersey can expect their hourly rate to go up from $8.60 to $8.85. That bump comes as the result of an automatic adjustment for inflation, and in reality, it probably won't do all that much to help low-income households in one of the most expensive states in the country.

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14. New York

In the state of New York, the minimum wage is rising from $10.40 an hour to $11.10. But in New York City, arguably one of the most expensive metro areas in the country, the minimum wage is climbing from $13 to $15. And in Long Island and Westchester, the minimum wage is going up to $12. 

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15. Ohio

The minimum wage in Ohio is rising from $8.30 an hour to $8.55, and once again, workers have inflation to thank for that upgrade. Though the state, on a whole, offers a lower cost of living than most of the country, minimum wage earners in major cities like Columbus might continue to struggle to make ends meet. 

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Rhode Island founder Roger Williams statue by skyline.

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16. Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the minimum wage is going up from $10.10 to $10.50 an hour. But as is the case with many East Coast states, that $0.40 boost may not make a huge difference given the overall cost of living, with housing prices being the primary driver.

ALSO READ: Wages Keep Growing for American Workers

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17. South Dakota

The minimum wage in South Dakota is going from $8.85 to $9.10. Once again, workers have inflation to thank for that modest boost, but seeing as how the cost of living there is only slightly below the national average, lower earners may not be ready to celebrate just yet. 

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18. Vermont

The minimum wage isn't rising a whole lot in Vermont; it's going from $10.50 an hour to $10.78. Seeing as how that bump resulted from an inflation adjustment, that's not surprising. It also may not provide all that much relief in an area where the cost of living is pretty much on par with the national average.

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Welcome to Washington State sign

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19. Washington

In the state of Washington the minimum wage is rising from $11.50 an hour to $12. But Seattle workers will be paid much more generously. There the minimum wage is going all the way up to $16. The higher cost of living in Seattle, however, is enough to virtually wipe out that boost. 


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