It is very important for business owners and employees to familiarize themselves with the minimum wage in the United States. Unlike most other countries, there are different minimum wage laws and rates across all 50 US states. The minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly wage that businesses may legally pay to employees or workers.

Each individual state has its own minimum wage, whether it has been generated via the Consumer Price Index, is determined by what each state’s legislature deems reasonable for its employees, or whether it just defaults to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Let’s take a look at the minimum wage in Rhode Island for 2021 and previous years.

The minimum wage in Rhode Island is unique to itself and, like many other states, is higher than the federal minimum wage. The Rhode Island minimum wage 2021 is the same as it was towards the end of 2020, $11.50 per hour. Thanks to an October 1st increase, the minimum wage in Rhode Island increased to $11.50 per hour from $10.50 in 2020.

Did the Rhode Island Minimum Wage Go Up?

The graphic below highlights the Rhode Island minimum wage over the past several years. The minimum wage did not go up and remains at $11.50 per hour in 2021.

Minimum Wage in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2021

The Rhode Island minimum wage in most of 2020 was the same as it was in 2019, $10.50 per hour – this is one of the highest minimum wage rates out of all 50 states and is a considerable amount higher ($3.25 p/hr) higher than the federal minimum wage!

However, on March 10th, 2020, a measure to increase the minimum wage in Rhode Island was signed into law increasing it from $10.50 per hour to $11.50 per hour, effective October 1st, 2020, and since then, leading into 2021 the Rhode Island minimum wage has remained the same.

Typically, states include scheduled minimum wage increases when passing such legislation but Rhode Island’s minimum wage law does not include any future scheduled increases. Recently, states have generally scheduled a few years of increases, with future rates tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Just because the Rhode Island minimum wage 2021 is $11.50 per hour doesn’t mean that it cannot vary depending on the age and status of the employee, or the type of employer you work for. Here are examples of when the Rhode Island minimum wage varies.

  • Full-time students under 19 years of age working for nonprofit religious, educational, or community service organizations, can earn a minimum of $9.45 per hour.
  • Workers ages 14 or 15 who do not work more than 24 hours in a week. These workers can earn a minimum of $7.88 per hour.
  • Workers employed in the domestic services or work for a private home, federal service, or voluntary service in educational, charitable, religious, or nonprofit organizations where employer/employee relationships do not exist.
  • Workers receiving gratuities, for example, restaurant and hotel employees, and certain employees of nonprofit organizations who receive tips. For these businesses, the tipped wage is $3.89. However, employees must receive tips that accumulate to the Rhode Island minimum wage in 2021 of $10.50 per hour.

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training enforces the minimum wage in Rhode Island of $11.50 per hour. Should you have any concerns or questions with the Rhode Island minimum wage in 2021 and the laws, rules, and regulations, feel free to contact them via their website.

Rhode Island Minimum Wage History

The table below provides the history of Rhode Island’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.

StateWageYear$ Wage Increase% Increase
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2021$11.502021$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2020$11.502020$1.009.5%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2020 (before Oct 1)$10.502020$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2019$10.502019$0.403.9%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2018$10.102018$0.505.2%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2017$9.602017$0.606.7%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2016$9.002016$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2015$9.002015$1.0012.5%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2014$8.002014$0.253.2%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2013$7.752013$0.354.7%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2012$7.402012$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2011$7.402011$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2010$7.402010$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2009$7.402009$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2008$7.402008$00%
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2007$7.402007
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2006$7.102006
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2005$6.752005
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2004$6.752004
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2003$6.152003
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2002$6.152002
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2001$6.152001
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 2000$6.152000
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1999$5.651999
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1998$5.151998
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1997$5.151997
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1996$4.751996
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1995$4.451995
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1994$4.451994
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1993$4.451993
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1992$4.451992
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1991$4.451991
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1999$4.251990
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1989$4.251989
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1988$4.001988
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1987$3.651987
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1986$3.551986
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1985$3.351985
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1984$3.351984
Rhode Island Minimum Wage 1983$3.351983

Latest News on the Rhode Island Minimum Wage

  • Governor Raimondo signed the legislation (2020-S 2147A, 2020-H 7157A), which was approved General Assembly March 4th, 2020, at a ceremony held at the headquarters of the RI AFL-CIO.
  • March 10th, 2020 – With the governor’s signature today, legislation sponsored by Sen. Erin Lynch Prata and Rep. David A. Bennett to raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 to $11.50 an hour on Oct. 1 has become law.
  • Quote from State Rep. David Bennett – “Putting more money in the pockets of those with the lowest wages helps their families and the economy overall, because people at that end of the wage spectrum pump that money right back into the local economy, buying necessities. It also means less demand for public assistance. A stronger minimum wage will mean a stronger economy for Rhode Island.”
  • Quote from Gov. Gina M. Raimondo – “Nobody should work full-time and live in poverty. Over the past few years, we’ve turned our economy around by investing in our workers. From new job training programs to investments in education, we’re working to ensure that every Rhode Islander has a good, family-supporting job. I’m proud that we’ve increased the minimum wage four times since I took office, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to continue building on that progress.”