That was the last year that the federal minimum wage was increased. It has now been a decade since the federal minimum wage was raised from $6.55 to $7.25 on July 24, 2009. Despite the federal minimum wage remaining stagnant at $7.25, states have the ability to elect what minimum wage they want to implement for workers.  

Note: minimum wage increases by state and can vary per city or county, but some states still adhere to the federal standard of $7.25 an hour. 

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2019 highlights. 

While minimum wage may be frozen on the federal level, 18 states began 2019 with higher minimum wages and two states raised their minimum wage on July 1.  

As of March 2019, 16 states were holding steady at the federal standard of $7.25 an hour, 29 states were above the federal minimum wage, and five states didn’t require a minimum wage. 

States increase their minimum wages for a few different reasons. Some are based on the cost of living, while others are based on previously approved legislation or ballot initiatives. 

The following states increased their minimum wages in 2019 based on the cost of living:  

  • Alaska 

  • Florida 

  • Minnesota 

  • Montana 

  • New Jersey 

  • Ohio 

  • South Dakota 

  • Vermont 

These states increase their minimum wage in 2019 based on previous legislation:  

  • Arizona 

  • Arkansas 

  • California 

  • Colorado 

  • Maine 

  • Massachusetts 

  • Missouri 

  • New York 

Rhode Island and Washington increased their rates due to previously approved legislation or ballot initiatives.   

As we approach 2020, minimum wage changes on the state level are right around the corner or are actively going into effect. 

What’s to come in 2020. 

For 2020, 23 states will adhere to the federal standard of $7.25 per hour.  

Reminder: if a state, city, or county has a minimum wage higher than that, employers are required to pay workers that higher rate. 

2020 minimum wage updates are available across 26 states starting Jan. 1, 2020. Those 26 expected to increase as the calendar turns 2020 are the following: 

  • Alaska - $10.19 

  • Arizona - $12.00 

  • Arkansas - $10.00 

  • California* - $13.00 

  • Colorado - $12.00 

  • Connecticut - $11.00 

  • Delaware - $9.25 

  • District of Columbia - $15.00 

  • Florida - $8.56 

  • Illinois - $9.25 

  • Maine - $12.00 

  • Maryland - $11.00 

  • Massachusetts - $12.75 

  • Michigan - $9.65 

  • Minnesota* - $10.00 

  • Missouri - $9.45 

  • Montana - $8.65 

  • Nevada - $9.00 

  • New Jersey - $11.00 

  • New Mexico - $9.00 

  • New York* - $11.80 

  • Ohio - $8.70 

  • Oregon* - $11.25 

  • South Dakota - $9.30 

  • Vermont - $10.96 

  • Washington - $13.50 

 *These following states’ increase rate have some special circumstances: 


The increased rate will be applied to employers with 26 or more employees. Businesses in California will have a minimum wage of $12.00 an hour for 25 or fewer employees. 


The increased rate applies to large businesses. There will be a minimum wage of $8.15 an hour for small employers. There will also be $8.15 an hour for the 90-day learning pay and youth salary. 

New York  

The increased rate applies to most employers in New York State. New York City's minimum wage is $15.00 for all businesses. The minimum wage will be $13.00 for the counties of Long Island and Westchester. 


The increased rate listed is the standard minimum wage and has not increased since 2019. However, the minimum wage for the Portland Metro region is $12.50 an hour and the Nonurban Counties have a minimum wage of $11.00 an hour. 

Be sure to check your state’s Department of Labor for rates specific to your location.  

Do you think there should be an increase in the federal minimum wage? Share your thoughts below! 

Stay tuned for our updated Quick Wage & Tax guide!

This includes all of the minimum wage information as well as other important tax rates to know for the coming year. Want to get this free guide as soon as it’s published? PrimePay clients: We’ll send to you. Not a client or subscriber? Click here to sign up and we’ll send you a copy when it is ready.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your own plan.