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Which States Have the Highest and Lowest Minimum Wage?

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

With the unemployment rate being what it is, a lot of people these days are being forced to work for minimum wage. But exactly how much you get could depend largely on what state you’re in.

The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 per hour, but since it’s not a mandate, not all states pay that rate, while others pay more.

Raising a state’s minimum wage is often left to voters. For example, Missouri residents will decide later this year whether to bump workers’ pay from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour, and the measure would also require tipped employees to receive at least 60 percent of that rate, a 10 percent increase over the current standard.

Some restaurant owners are unhappy about the proposal, which would of course cost them more money, and other opponents say raising a state’s minimum wage can cause businesses to hire fewer employees, which would especially hurt younger workers — something that’s hotly contested by many economists.

So where are minimum wages highest and lowest?

States with highest minimum wage

1. Washington — $9.04
2. Oregon — $8.80
3. Vermont — $8.46
4. (tie) Nevada, Connecticut, Illinois — $8.25

States with lowest minimum wage

1. Wyoming — $5.15
2. Minnesota — between $5.25 and $6.15, depending on the annual revenues of a business
3. Georgia — $5.15
4. Arkansas — $6.25 (as long as the business has at least four employees)

[ABC News]

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