10 States With the Highest Minimum Wages

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  • There are currently 30 states (plus Washington D.C.) with a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.
  • The 10 states with the highest minimum wage are located on the East and West Coasts.
  • You can expect to earn more in these states, but the increase may be offset by the high cost of living.

Move to this state if you want the highest minimum wage.

High costs have hit Americans hard, making it difficult for people to live on the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Did you know, however, that there are currently 30 states and Washington D.C. with a higher minimum wage? Minimum wage laws vary from state to state, with some states tying their minimum wage to the cost of living while others have a set dollar amount.

The highest minimum wage is in Washington D.C. at $16.10 per hour, followed by Washington at $14.49 and Massachusetts at $14.25. Here is a list of all the states with a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage.

States with the highest minimum wage

State 2022 2023
Washington D.C. $16.10 N/A
Washington $14.49 $15.74
Massachusetts $14.25 $15.00
California $14.00 ($15.00)* $15.50
Connecticut $14.00 $15.00
Oregon $13.50 TBD
New York $13.20 ($15.00)^ $15.00/$14.20
New Jersey $13.00 $14.13
Maine $12.75 $13.80
Vermont $12.55 $13.18
Data source: U.S. Dept. of Labor. *California currently has a minimum wage of $15 per hour for businesses that have more than 26 employees and $14.00 with businesses with 25 or fewer employees. ^New York's base minimum wage is $13.20 and $15.00 for those living in Long Island, Westchester, and New York City.

The states with the highest minimum wage are on the East and West coasts. If you live in one of these states and are working a minimum wage job, you can expect to earn more than workers in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, these states also have the highest cost of living. Each of these states will be increasing their minimum wage for 2023. The minimum wage in Oregon will be indexed to inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) starting July 1, 2023.

Some states have no minimum wage laws of their own, and instead use the federal minimum wage as their standard. However, even in these states, some cities and counties have enacted their own local minimum wage laws that are higher than the federal level. For example, Emeryville, CA has a minimum wage of $17.13 and it is anticipated to increase to $17.68 in 2023. You can expect to earn more in these states, but the increase may be offset by the higher cost of living. Many areas have anticipated increases set for 2023, so do your research to find which city or state may be best for you to call home!

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