States with the Highest Minimum Wage

March 3, 2014
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The U.S. minimum wage has been the subject of much discussion across the nation lately, hotly debated by citizens and social commentators alike.

While the federal minimum (currently $7.25) is set by Congress, individual states can set higher bars if they so choose. And recently several states have elected to raise their minimum wage, some dramatically so. Thus we present here the five states with the highest minimum wages according to a recent article from CNNMoney and some details about their respective situations:


Washington State is in a near-unique position, with a yearly increase in the minimum wage since 1998. The annual raise is pegged to the Consumer Price Index, with the 2014 increase of $.13 — to an overall $9.32 — as a response to a 1.5% increase in the CPI.


Like Washington, Oregon’s periodic wage increases are also tied to the Consumer Price Index. Currently, 3,000 workers in the state are paid the minimum wage of $9.10 — a $.15 increase from last year.


California is another state in a unique situation. In 2013, the state passed a law setting the minimum wage at $10.00, phasing it in over two years. On July 1, 2014 a $9.00 minimum will go into effect, with a $10.00 minimum to follow in 2016.


Vermont’s annual minimum wage increases are determined by either the CPI or 5% of the total, whichever is lower. 2014 sees a $.13 rise to $8.73.


With 2,000 workers paid minimum wage statewide, 2013 saw an increase to a $9.00 minimum implemented over the course of 2014/2015. The first increase — to $8.70 — came into effect on January 1, 2014, with an additional increase to $9.00 to come the following year.

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