The US federal minimum wage for 2020 is set a $ 7.25 per hour. That means a person working full time on minimum wage will earn something like $ 1,000 per month.
However, not all states follow the US federal minimum wage. Most states actually have their own minimums. Some, such as California and District of Columbia, have minimum wages that are close to twice as much as federal one. Below are the hourly rates for the states that have set specific minimum wages set above federal levels:
Some counties and cities have also set their minimum wages above or below both federal and state levels. According to the Economic Policy Institute website, 44 of those entities have done so. Their site does not list individual minimum wages for them, but we researched it and are providing them here. All of them come directly from an official source or a local news source when official information was not found.
We provide the links so you can check each individual county or city on your own. You are advised to do so if you want to run a business in the location, as some minimum wage laws can have some particularities in some of them.
Below are some of them:
- Alameda, CA: $13.50 ($15 after July 1st, 2020)
- Albuquerque, NM: $9.35 ($ 7.95 if healthcare or childcare is provided by the employer)
- Belmont, CA: $15
- Berkeley, CA: $15.59
- Bernalillo County, NM: $9.20
- Birmingham, AL: City tried to pass a $10.10 minimum, but as of January 2020, it remains blocked by the State Senate
- Chicago, IL: $13
- Cook County, IL: $11
- Cupertino, CA: $15.35
- El Cerrito, CA: $15.37
- Emeryville, CA: small restaurants: $15 per hour; other businesses: $16.30 per hour; estimated to be raised to $16.42 in July 2020
- Flagstaff, AZ: $13 ($15 after January 1st 2020 or $2 above AZ state Minimum Wage, whichever is higher)
- Las Cruces, NM: $10.25 ($4.10 for tipped workers)
- Los Altos, CA: $15.40 per hour
- Los Angeles City and County, CA: $13.25 per hour for businesses with less than 26 employees; $ 14.25 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees; from July 1st 2020, minimum wages will be adjusted to $ 14.25 for small businesses and $15 for businesses employing 26 or more people
- Malibu, CA: $14.25 per hour. From July 1st 2020, $15 per hour. Applies to employers of 26 or more people
- Milpitas, CA: $15 per hour
- Minneapolis, MN: $11 per hour for businesses with up to 100 employees; $12.25 for businesses with 100 or more employees. Minimum wage will be adjusted to $12.50 and $14.25 respectively, after July 1st 2021
- Montgomery County, MD: $12.50 for small and mid-sized businesses and $13 for large ones. After July 1st 2020, it will be increased to $13.25 and $14 respectively
- Mountain View, CA: $16.05
- Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, NY: $13
- New York City, NY: $15 for all companies.
- Oakland, CA: $14.14
- Palo Alto, CA: $15.40
- Pasadena, CA: $13.25 for small businesses and $14.25 for larger ones
- Portland, OR: Oregon state minimum wage applies: $11 standard, $12.50 in Portland Metro and $11 in nonurban counties. They will be $12 standard, $13.25 in Metro and $11.50 in nonurban counties from July 1st 2020
- Prince George’s County, MD: $11.50
- Redwood City, CA: $15.38
- Richmond, CA: $15
- San Francisco, CA: $15.59
- San Jose, CA: $15.25
- San Leandro, CA: $14. After July 1st 2020, will be $15
- San Mateo, CA: $15.38
- Santa Clara, CA: $15.40
- Santa Fe City, NM: $11.80 ($3.53 for tipped employees). After March 2020, it will be $12.10 and $3.64 for tipped workers
- Santa Monica, CA: $13.25 per hour for businesses with up to 25 employees. $14.25 for the larger ones and $16.63 for all hotels. After July 1st 2020, $14.25 for small businesses and $15 for large businesses. Hotels will be aligned to the city of LA minimum wage
- SeaTac, WA: $16.34
- Seattle, WA: companies with up to 500 employees pay $13.50 per hour if medical benefits are included and $15.75 if not included. Businesses with 501 or more employees pay $16.39 per hour, regardless of medical benefits offered
- St Paul, MN: $12.50 for macro business (10,001+ employees) and city employees; $11.50 for large businesses (101 to 10,000 employees); $10 for small businesses (6 to 100 employees); and $9.25 for microbusiness
- Sunnyvale, CA: $16.05
- Tacoma, WA: $13.50. Employers must follow state minimum wage
Minimum wage around the world
The first nationwide minimum wage law was created in New Zealand in 1894. Australia followed suit in 1896 by passing minimum wage laws to six different industries that usually paid low wages to their employers.
In the United States, the first state to pass a minimal wage law was Massachusetts in 1912. It was only in 1938 that a federal minimum wage law was passed, under the government of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Minimum wage is not universally adopted worldwide. Even countries hailed as great social democracies with plenty of benefits to employees, like Sweden and Norway, do not have minimum wage laws. In Germany, a federal minimum wage was enacted only in 2014. Finland, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Cyprus and Switzerland also do not have any federal minimum wage laws. Some of those countries, however, rely on collective bargaining with labor unions to set minimum wages for specific industries.
As the US dollar grew stronger in comparison to currencies from other countries elsewhere in the world, California and the District of Columbia now boast the highest minimum wages. But Australia ($14.56) and Luxembourg ($13.02) come close. Monaco ($11.72), New Zealand ($11.70), France ($11.40), Ireland ($10.77), Belgium ($10.70), San Marino ($10.38), Netherlands ($10.26, though they have minimum wages set by age), Canada ($10.20), United Kingdom ($10.04), Germany ($9.97) and Israel ($8.09) have minimum wages above US federal level, according to this Wikipedia article.