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Maximum minimum wage rates, 2017

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Business & Industry

This is a snapshot list, a peek at the highest minimum wages at one moment in time.  That moment — July, 2017 — comes after a few states made mid-year adjustments and before many more states gear up for rate hikes in 2018.  We’ve chosen to list the states and territories with minimum wages $9.00 per hour or higher.  The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Washington is currently in the number 2 position on the list of states and territories, but is tied for first among states if you remove the District of Columbia.  And although Washington’s minimum wage rate will raise each January 1 for the indefinite future ($11.50 in 2018, $12.00 in 2019, $13.50 in 2020, and indexed thereafter), the nation’s capital will continue to rise just a bit faster ($13.35, $14.00, $15.00, and based on CPI thereafter) to maintain the top spot.  Massachusetts, currently tied with Washington, has yet to enact future rises, so Washington will own the top state spot outright in six months. California will match Washington at $12.00 briefly in 2019, and may later surpass it (at $14.00 and $15.00) in 2021 or 2022.  Our other west coast neighbor Oregon plans to have a lower state rate in each of these years, but the Portland metro area is on track to have a minimum wage nearly as high or maybe higher than Washington.

U.S. STATES and TERRITORIES WITH THE HIGHEST MINIMUM WAGES, JULY 2017

Minimum wage State or territory
 $12.50 District of Columbia
 $11.00 Massachusetts*, Washington
 $10.50 California*
 $10.25 Oregon*
 $10.10 Connecticut
 $10.00 Arizona, Vermont
 $9.80 Arkansas
 $9.70 New York*
 $9.60 Rhode Island
 $9.50 Minnesota*, Virgin Islands
 $9.30 Colorado
 $9.25 Hawaii*, Maryland
 $9.00 Maine*, Nebraska

*Some states have minimum wage rates that vary based on geographic areas, company size, jobs with or without benefits, or other factors.

SOURCE: National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2017.

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