In 2021, the minimum wage for the state of California increased to $14.00 per hour, this is $6.75 higher than the federal minimum wage, which is almost as much as the federal wage itself, the latest increase moved the California minimum wage to the highest wage out of all 50 states.

Since 2016, California’s minimum wage has been consistently increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 4-9%. It increased considerably from 2019 to 2021. The minimum wage in California is a little different from most states, as the wage differs depending on the size of the business you are employed by.

On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for those working at companies with 25 employees or less increased from $12.00 per hour to $13.00 per hour, and for companies that have 26 employees or more, the minimum wage rate increased from $13.00 in 2020 to $14.00 per hour in 2021.


Hold On!

If you would like to see the history of the California minimum wage over the years, we have created a bar graph showing you the minimum wage each year and also a convenient PDF you can download. It is located at the bottom of this page.

California’s unique minimum wage rule was first implemented in 2017 and will continue to be in place for the foreseeable future. To learn more about workers’ rights, the latest labor laws, and more you can visit the California Labor and Workforce Agency website.

Did the California Minimum Wage Go Up?

The graphic below highlights the California minimum wage over the past several years. The minimum wage did go up in 2021 from $13.00 per hour (in 2020) to $14.00 in 2021 for businesses with 26 or more employees, and for businesses with 25 employees or fewer, the minimum wage increased from $12.00 per hour (2020) to $13.00 per hour in 2021.

Minimum Wage in California

California Minimum Wage 2021

The California minimum wage increase is set to be a regular occurrence according to the California Department of Industrial Relations. There has been a released statement indicating the California minimum wage increase from 2021 to 2022, this will include not only the minimum wage for employers with over 26 employees but the wage for those working for employers with under that amount too.


Are you interested in starting a company in California?

If you would like to register a new business in California, check out our ultimate guide on How to Register a Business in California.

The California minimum wage 2021 increase was by a dollar amount for both employers with 26 or more employees, and for businesses with 25 or fewer employees, this has been a consistent theme for California’s minimum wage increases over the years and doesn’t seem to be stopping or slowing down any time soon.

For more information on the minimum wage in all 50 states, check out our Minimum Wage in US States table where you will find them all listed in alphabetical order.

There are many interesting facts about California that you probably haven’t heard of. Feel free to check out a comprehensive list of them that also includes some very important economic facts if you are looking to start your own business or franchise or get a job in the state.

California Minimum Wage History

The table below provides the history of California’s minimum wage over the years since 2008. You can see when there were increases in the minimum wage, how much they were, and what percentage increase it represents.

StateWage for employers with 26 employees or moreWage for employers with 25 employees or less
California Minimum Wage 2021$14.00$13.00
California Minimum Wage 2020$13.00$12.00
California Minimum Wage 2019$12.00$11.00
California Minimum Wage 2018$11.00$10.50
California Minimum Wage 2017$10.50$10.00
California Minimum Wage 2016$10.00$10.00
California Minimum Wage 2015$9.00$9.00
California Minimum Wage 2014$9.00$9.00
California Minimum Wage 2013$8.00$8.00
California Minimum Wage 2012$8.00$8.00
California Minimum Wage 2011$8.00$8.00
California Minimum Wage 2010$8.00$8.00
California Minimum Wage 2009$8.00$8.00
California Minimum Wage 2008$8.00$8.00

California minimum wage history (26+ employee businesses) for the past 10+ years – downloadable PDF below

California Minimum Wage History

California Minimum Wage History – Downloadable PDF

EIN Number California

As a California business owner and employer, or someone that is looking to register an LLC or an incorporated company in California with the goal of hiring employees, now, or in the future, you will need to have a California EIN number.

An EIN is also known as an Employer Identification Number and is issued by the internal revenue service (IRS). We have created a guide on how to get your California EIN with the IRS, and it includes links to the appropriate sources and forms and the differences between whether you are a U.S. citizen or foreign national applying for a California EIN.