How many states have a $15 minimum wage? As of January 2023, the answer is just three — California ($15.50), Massachusetts ($15) and Washington ($15.74).
But that won’t be the case for long.
Several states have scheduled minimum wage increases to reach $15 an hour in the coming years. Plus, others have indexed rates, which will, however slowly, eventually bring them to the $15 threshold (barring new legislation).
The information below — updated December 2022 — applies to standard rates for large employers. HR and compliance teams should also be sure to check their locations for applicable county and city rates, which may be higher.
Minimum Wage Management. Simplified.
States Moving Toward $15 Minimum Wage
In recent years, a handful of states have passed legislation that will eventually bring their standard rates to $15 an hour.
That $15 figure is important. It represents the nationwide push for higher rates, highlighted by the Fight for $15 movement, as well as employers opting to make it their own minimum wage rate.
California Minimum Wage
Connecticut minimum wage will reach $15 on June 1, 2023, with indexing beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
The state increased minimum wage to $14 on July 1, 2022.
July 1, 2022, State Minimum Wage Rates
Minimum wage in Delaware will hit $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.
The state passed a bill in July 2021 that provides for gradual increases, with the first taking effect at the start of 2022.
As of Jan. 1, 2023, the standard minimum wage rate in Delaware is $11.75.
Following a voter-approved ballot referendum in November 2020, Florida will reach a $15 minimum wage Sept. 30, 2026.
Because of the ballot measure, Florida saw its minimum wage increase twice in 2021. Effective Sept. 30, 2022, the standard minimum wage in Florida is $11.
Hawaii recently passed a new minimum wage that will gradually bring its standard rate to $18 in 2028. Hawaii will see gradual increases over the next several years until reaching that figure. (There is a separate rate for tipped employees.)
As of Oct. 1, 2022, minimum wage in Hawaii is $12.
In Illinois, the state passed a law in 2019 to eventually bring minimum wage to $15 in 2025.
The state is on a regular increase schedule, going up $1 each year on Jan. 1. Illinois’ standard minimum wage is $13, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Maryland was another state that passed a 2019 law to move toward a $15 minimum wage.
It will reach the $15 threshold in 2025, with scheduled increases in the intervening years. Minimum wage in 2023 in Maryland is $13.25 for large employers.
Following a successful 2022 minimum wage ballot measure, we have a new state moving toward a $15 minimum wage.
In Nebraska, voters approved Initiative Measure 433, which amends the state’s minimum wage law and will gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.
Nebraska will see a fairly aggressive increase schedule on Jan. 1 each year:
- 2023 – $10.50
- 2024 – $12
- 2025 – $13.50
- 2026 – $15
After that point, Nebraska’s minimum wage will be annually adjusted based on the applicable Consumer Price Index.
In New Jersey, minimum wage for large employers reaches $15 in 2024, with indexed rates beginning the next year.
It is another state with scheduled increases in the coming years. In 2023, the minimum wage for large employers in New Jersey is $14.13.
In May 2021, Rhode Island passed a bill to bring minimum wage to $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.
In 2023, minimum wage in Rhode Island is $13.
Virginia took the unique action in 2020 to delay a planned minimum wage increase due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Still, the state is on track to reach $15 on Jan. 1, 2026, with indexed rates in the succeeding years.
Virginia minimum wage has scheduled increases until 2026, with the 2023 rate at $12.
Including Washington, D.C., in our rundown of states moving to the $15 mark, we have the nation’s capital, which reached $15 on July 1, 2021.
It has since surpassed that figure. Effective July 1, 2022, minimum wage in Washington, D.C., is $16.10, when D.C. began indexing its rate.
States With Indexed Rates
The states listed above have plans for a $15 minimum wage or have already reached that mark. However, others have passed laws that include annual increases based on the consumer price index.
Below are states with indexing requirements, along with their standard minimum wage rate (or rate for large employers) as of July 1, 2022, or Jan. 1, 2023. Note that Oregon is a unique case.
- Alaska – In effect; current rate: $10.85
- Arizona – In effect; current rate: $13.85
- Colorado – In effect; current rate: $13.65
- Maine – In effect; current rate: $12.75
- Minnesota – In effect; current rate: $10.58
- Missouri – Effective Jan. 1, 2024; current rate: $12
- Montana – In effect; current rate: $9.95
- New York – In effect; current rate: $14.20
- Ohio – In effect; current rate: $10.10
- Oregon – Effective July 1, 2023; separate rates depending on county population density
- South Dakota – In effect; current rate: $10.80
- Vermont – Effective Jan. 1, 2023; current rate: $13.18
Other State Minimum Wage Rates
Of course, some states have minimum wage rates above the federal level but without plans to reach the $15 mark — neither through scheduled increases nor indexing.
Those states are listed below, along with their rate as of July 2022 or January 2023. (Note that some have scheduled increases in the coming years, and new legislation could always impact the numbers.)
States at Federal Minimum Wage
Lastly, there are a number of states that still go by the federal minimum wage. They are:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina
Managing minimum wage rates across multiple states is challenging. And that’s not even considering the dozens of cities and counties that have set their own rates in recent years.
And with many states closing in on their final scheduled increases, compliance teams will have to move on to tracking indexed rates.