Sep 19, 2023

Question of the Day: What state has the highest minimum wage? lowest minimum wage?

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, but do you know the states that have higher or lower minimums?


  • Highest: California at $15.50/hour (if Washington, D.C. was a state it would have the highest at $16.10/hour)
  • Lowest: Georgia and Wyoming at $5.15/hour ** (only applies to some farm and seasonal workers)


  • What types of jobs typically earn the minimum wage?
  • The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 and was last raised in 2009. Why do you think that so many states have minimums higher than the current federal rate?
  • If you start a job earning the minimum wage for your state, when do you think is the right time to ask for a raise?
  • What are some arguments for/against raising the minimum wage?

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (Paycor): 

"For employers with employees in multiple states, keeping up with numerous minimum wage rate changes can be a daunting task. While some states are on a schedule for annual increases to eventually reach $15 an hour, 12 states still adhere to the federal minimum. Although the federal minimum wage of $7.25 has not budged since 2009, more than 20 states have provided additional increases in 2023."


Want more details about the federal minimum wage? Check out the On-Demand Module: $7.25 - The Minimum Wage


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About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.

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