Minimum-wage laws, state by state
Minimum-wage laws around the U.S. are a patchwork of federal and state legislation. On Thursday, the federal minimum wage rose to $6.55 per hour, but the change only affects workers in 26 states (plus Washington, D.C.). The remaining 24 states already have state minimum wages set above $6.55 per hour.
Thursday's increase is the third of three annual increases mandated by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. In July 2009, the federal minimum will rise again to $7.25 per hour.
The following 26 states had their minimum wages rise to $6.55:
Of those 26 states, 18 automatically follow the federal minimum wage:
West Virginia (A state minimum-wage raise approved in 2006 to $7.25 only applied to a limited number of workers. Workers covered by the federal minimum-wage law are exempt from coverage under the state minimum-wage law.)
The other eight states had a minimum that was higher than the previous federal minimum, but lower than $6.55:
Arkansas (was $6.25)
Maryland (was $6.15)
Minnesota (was $6.15)
Montana (was $6.25)
New Hampshire (was $6.50; will rise to $7.25 in September)
New Mexico (was $6.50)
North Carolina (was $6.15)
Wisconsin (was $6.50)
Washington, D.C. automatically sets its minimum wage $1 above the federal rate; its minimum increased on Thursday to $7.55 per hour.
The federal minimum wage hike will generally have no effect on employers in these 24 states, because they currently have minimum wages at or above $6.55 per hour:
Alaska (the state minimum wage is $7.15)
Arizona ($6.90, indexed to inflation)
Colorado ($7.02, indexed to inflation)
Florida ($6.79, indexed to inflation)
Maine ($7.00; will rise to $7.25 on October 1)
Missouri ($6.65, indexed to inflation)
Nevada ($6.85, indexed to inflation. This minimum applies only to workers without health benefits. With benefits, the minimum is $5.85).
New Jersey ($7.15 )
New York ($7.15)
Ohio ($7.00, indexed to inflation)
Oregon ($7.95, indexed to inflation)
Rhode Island ($7.40)
Vermont ($7.68, indexed to inflation)
Washington ($8.07, indexed to inflation)