The Washington Post

There are eight states left with minimum wages lower than the federal minimum wage


Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., in July 2014. (Craig Lassig/EPA)

A law increasing Minnesota’s minimum wage has gone into effect this month, leaving eight remaining states either without minimum wage laws or with minimum wages lower than the federal level.

On Friday, large employers in Minnesota had to begin paying $8 an hour, up from $6.15 an hour, and small employers had to begin paying $6.50 an hour, up from $5.25 an hour, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. The state will see additional increases in the next two years, and by 2016, the minimum wage for large employers will be $9.50 an hour, and for small employers, $7.75 an hour.

There are more than 325,000 Minnesota residents who earn minimum wage, according to Gov. Mark Dayton’s (D) office.

Arkansas, Georgia and Wyoming are now the only three states with minimum wages lower than the federal minimum wage, while Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee don’t have minimum wage laws. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, and President Obama has asked Congress to raise it to $10.10.

How states’ minimum wage compare to the national minimum wage

It’s been 10 years since Santa Fe, N.M., raised its minimum wage by 65 percent, then the largest one-time increase in the country, and its results are difficult to discern, The Post’s Tina Griego found.

“One of the lessons learned is that the sky didn’t fall,” Mayor Javier Gonzales told The Post. “The doom and gloom that was predicted never came to be. … But the living wage is not a silver bullet, either. It’s not a quick fix and it alone won’t save the economy.”

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post



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