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Minimum Wage Increases in 24 States in 2021

Bumps either phased in or adjusted to keep up with cost of living

RIVERWOODS, Ill. — Twenty-four states have raised or will raise their minimum wage in 2021, according to Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., which provides information services and solutions for legal, corporate and compliance professionals across several industries.

Some of the new rates in states such as California, Colorado, Maine and Washington reflect previously approved incremental increases to reach a specific amount considered to be a “living wage,” the company reports.

Increases in other states, including Alaska, Florida, Minnesota and Montana, reflect actual cost-of-living adjustments.

“With the change in the presidential administration coming in January, we are closely monitoring for potential changes in the federal minimum wage rate, which has remained at $7.25 an hour since July of 2009,” says Barbara O’Dell, JD, an employment law analyst at Wolters Kluwer. “The incoming Biden administration has expressed interest in increasing the federal minimum wage, but whether legislation to increase it would pass is an open question.”

States whose minimum wage rose on Jan. 1 (unless otherwise noted) include:

  • Alaska — $10.34 per hour, up from $10.19 per hour, based on 1.4% cost-of-living increase.
  • Arizona — $12.15 per hour, up from $12.00 per hour. Additionally, employees are entitled to paid leave at rate of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, but with limits based on employer size.
  • Arkansas — $11.00 per hour, up from $10.00 per hour.
  • California — $13.00 per hour for businesses with 25 or fewer employees, $14.00 per hour for those with 26 or more.
  • Colorado — $12.32 per hour, up from $12.00 per hour.
  • Connecticut — $13.00 per hour effective Aug. 1, up from $12.00 per hour.
  • Florida — $8.65 per hour, up 9 cents, based on 1.07% cost-of-living increase. Tipped employees must be paid $5.63 per hour, also up 9 cents from 2020 rate. Under a previously approved constitutional amendment, the rate will increase to $10.00 on Sept. 30.
  • Illinois — $11.00 per hour, up from $10.00 per hour.
  • Maine — $12.15 per hour, up from $12.00 per hour.
  • Maryland — $11.60 per hour for small employers, $11.75 per hour for large employers.
  • Massachusetts — $13.50 per hour, an increase from $12.75 per hour.
  • Michigan — $9.87 per hour, up from $9.65 per hour.
  • Minnesota — $10.08 per hour, up from $10.00 per hour, for large employers with annual gross sales of not less than $500,000. Small employers must pay at least $8.21 per hour, up from $8.15 per hour.
  • Missouri — $10.30 per hour, up from $9.45 per hour.
  • Montana — $8.75 per hour, up from $8.65 per hour, based on 1.31% cost-of-living increase.
  • Nevada — $9.00 per hour for employees not receiving health benefits, to increase to $9.75 per hour on July 1. Employees who do receive health benefits are paid minimum of $8.00 per hour, to increase to $8.75 per hour on July 1.
  • New Jersey — $12.00 per hour for most employees, up from $11.00 per hour. It’s $11.10 per hour for those in seasonal employment, farm workers with hourly or piece-rate wage, or who work for an employer with fewer than six employees.
  • New Mexico — $10.50 per hour, up from $9.00 per hour.
  • New York — Rates vary by region: $15.00 per hour in New York City; $14.00 per hour in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties; $11.80 per hour in remainder of state.
  • Ohio — $8.80 per hour, up 10 cents from $8.70 per hour, based on 1.4% cost-of-living increase. Rate applies to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of $323,000 per year. For employees of smaller companies, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is tied to the federal rate.
  • Oregon — Wage is tiered, with highest of $13.25 per hour in metro Portland area ($14.00 effective July 1), the lowest of $11.50 per hour in rural/non-urban areas ($12.00 effective July 1), and $12.00 per hour ($12.75 effective July 1) in the rest of the state.
  • South Dakota — $9.45 per hour, up 15 cents from $9.30 per hour.
  • Vermont — $11.75 per hour, up 79 cents in scheduled increase from $10.96 per hour.
  • Washington — $13.69 per hour for employees 18 or older, based on 1.39% cost-of-living increase. Workers under 16 can be paid 85% of adult minimum wage, or $11.64 per hour, in 2021. Workers also guaranteed sick time, accrued at rate of one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.