Highest Minimum Wage States – Top 10

Author: Jason Coles

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Each year, the US minimum wage becomes a national talking point. Are they going to increase the federal minimum wage? Is my state’s minimum wage going to increase this year? What are the highest minimum wage states? And so on.

These questions tend to be answered in January of each year and even before then in some instances. Most states make their workers and business owners/employers aware of any upcoming changes that are about to go into effect the following year since the minimum wage laws are usually agreed on and signed into law at least a few months before they become effective.

If you want to see the states that have increased their minimum wage in 2022, we have a complete listing of all 25 states that raised their minimum wage in 2022. Half of the country has seen an increase, and some of the states with increases are those in the top 10.

The information provided here details the top 10 highest minimum wage states in 2022. Some states that are included in the list may have towns, cities, or counties with either higher or lower minimum wage laws than you see on this page.

However, the highest minimum wage is based on information from each state as a whole (statewide minimum wage rate). Also, some states that have more employees or revenue may be required to pay a higher minimum wage rate.

Highest State Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly wage that businesses may legally pay to employees or workers. Here are the top 10 highest state minimum wage rates in the United States in 2022. Washington D.C. is not included since it is not a U.S. state. If it were included, then Washington D.C. would have the highest state minimum wage since its minimum wage rate is $15.50 per hour.

Here’s the list of the top 10 highest minimum wage states in 2022:

  1. California – Currently sitting at $15.00 per hour, the highest minimum wage state in 2022 is California.
  2. Washington – A close second place goes to Washington, boasting a minimum wage rate of $14.49.
  3. Massachusetts – Third place goes to Massachusetts, with a min wage of $14.25 per hour.
  4. Connecticut – Even after a mid-year change to the CT minimum wage rate in 2021, which saw the wage increase to $13.00 per hour, the 2022 rate increased by $1.00 moving it up to $14.00 per hour, clinching the fourth spot.
  5. Oregon – $13.50 per hour is the latest statewide standard minimum wage rate for Oregon after an increase that occurred on July 1st, 2022, which puts the state at 5th.
  6. New York – $13.20 is the minimum wage in New York state. However, in NY City it is $15 per hour. It is key to bear in mind that the New York minimum wage increase each year will take place on or before October 1 annually.
  7. New Jersey – New Jersey is the latest addition to this list with an increase that saw the minimum wage rate become $13.00 per hour.
  8. Arizona – Arizona’s minimum wage increased to $12.80 per hour in 2022.
  9. Maine – Maine’s minimum wage is $12.75 per hour, making it 8th on the list.
  10. Colorado – The latest minimum wage increase saw Colorado’s rate increase to $12.56 per hour.

Highest Minimum Wage States in 2022

There are many variables when it comes to the minimum wage, most states generate a unique wage via the consumer price index, measuring the cost of living, house prices, and inflation, which is usually revised, or at least revisited annually.

To find out more information regarding the minimum wage of all 50 states, check out our US minimum wage by state page. The table below reflects the top 10 highest minimum wage states in 2022. Some states are tied with the same minimum wage rate and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) has not been included since it is not a state. If D.C. was included it would be the highest minimum wage state in 2022 at $15.50 per hour.

Additionally, New York and Oregon, which both have regional minimum wage rates, with the highest wages reaching $15.00 per hour in New York City and $14.75 in the Portland Metro Area.

PositionStateMin Wage 2020Min Wage 2021Min Wage 2022
1stMinimum Wage in California$13.00$14.00$15.00
2ndMinimum Wage in Washington$13.50$13.59$14.49
3rdMinimum Wage in Massachusetts$12.75$13.50$14.25
4thMinimum Wage in Connecticut$12.00$13.00$14.00 (July 2022)
5thMinimum Wage in Oregon$12.00$12.75$13.50 (July 2022)
6thMinimum Wage in New York$11.80$12.50$13.20
7thMinimum Wage in New Jersey$11.00$12.00$13.00
8thMinimum Wage in Arizona$12.00$12.15$12.80
9thMinimum Wage in Maine$12.00$12.15$12.75
10thMinimum Wage in Colorado$12.00$12.32$12.56
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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S., Jason has written over 1,200 business plans over the past 16+ years for start-ups looking to establish and expand their footprint in the United States.