State Minimum Wage Vs. Federal Minimum Wage

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The federal government periodically sets a federal minimum wage rate. Several, but not all, states also have minimum wage laws and the state rates correlate variously with the federal rate.

Federal Minimum Wage

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 an hour for hourly (nonexempt) employees went into effect on July 24, 2009.

State Rates

  • As of January 2010, 45 states also have a minimum rate. States with minimum wage rates can have rates higher, lower, or the same as the federal rate.

States with Equal Rate

  • States with minimum wage rates equal to the federal rate represent the largest number of states with a state minimum rate.

States with Higher Rates

  • States with higher rates represents the next largest number of states with their own minimum wage rates.

States with Lower Rates

  • Only seven states with state minimum wage rates have state rates lower than the federal minimum wage.

Federal vs. State

  • Where both a state and a federal minimum wage law apply and the rates differ, the employee is subject to the higher of the two rates, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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