Published On: Oct 14 2011 01:46:57 PM EDTUpdated On: Jun 03 2014 10:24:41 AM EDT
Seattle has just approved the highest minimum wage in the country at $15 an hour. The increase will take place over several years based on a scale that considers the size of and benefits offered by an employer. It will apply first to many large businesses in 2017 and then to all businesses by 2021. Washington already has the nation's highest state-level minimum wage.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.
Here's a look at the 10 states with the highest minimum wages as of the end of 2013:
8. (tie) California -- $8/hour
California's minimum wage increased by 50 cents to $8 an hour in 2008. Under a new law enacted in September 2013, the hourly rate will increase to $9 on July 1, 2014, and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.
8. (tie) Colorado -- $8/hour
Colorado's minimum wage rose by 22 cents beginning in January 2014, the fourth consecutive year of minimum wage increases.
8. (tie) Massachusetts -- $8/hour
Massachusetts has had a minimum wage of $8 an hour since 2008. With time-and-a-half on Sundays (for retail workers only), the Sunday minimum wage is $12 an hour.
8. (tie) New York -- $8/hour
The minimum wage in New York jumped to $8 an hour from $7.25 an hour in 2014, and is set to increasein stages to $9 an hour over the next three years.
8. (tie) Rhode Island -- $8/hour
Nearly 10,000 Rhode Islanders got an automatic raise beginning in 2014, when the state increased its minimum wage to $8 an hour.
5. (tie) Illinois -- $8.25/hour
Illinois' minimum wage has historically increased along with the federal rate, until 2004, when the state's wage was raised to $5.50 per hour, ahead of the national rate.
5. Nevada (tie) -- $8.25/hour
Nevada's minimum wage is $8.25 per hour for those without employer-provided health insurance. For those with insurance, it is $7.25 -- the same as the federal rate.
5. (tie) New Jersey -- $8.25/hour
New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question in November that raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour in 2014 and amended the state Constitution to tie future increases to inflation.
4. Connecticut -- $8.70/hour
With a median household income of $66,452 in 2010, Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states in the country, and its minimum wage reflects that.
3. Vermont -- $8.73/hour
Vermont's minimum wage increases at the same rate as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding year, meaning an increase to $8.60 per hour in 2013.
2. Oregon -- $9.10/hour
Oregon's minimum wage increased by 30 cents in 2012, which was three times as much as it has increased between 2010 and 2011, and then rose again to $8.95 in 2013. It jumped another 15 cents in 2014.
1. Washington -- $9.32/hour
Washington became the first state to pay minimum wage workers more than $9 an hour in 2012, when its minimum wage went up by 37 cents an hour.