More Than Half of U.S. States Will Increase Minimum Wage in 2022

California has the highest state minimum wage at $15 per hour.
Wage increase sign

NEW YORK — The new year brings new minimum wage rules in several states and cities across the United States.

According to Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S., 26 states will hike their minimum wage in 2022 and the lion's share — 22 — implemented the change on Jan. 1.

"These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country," said Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. "In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes."

Key takeaways from the company's analysis include:

  • West Hollywood, Calif., will have the highest minimum wage rate in the country, at $17.64 per hour for hotel workers, effective Jan. 1.
  • California has the highest state minimum wage at $15 per hour, and parts of New York, including New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, also have a $15 rate.
  • Close behind are Oregon's Portland metropolitan area at $14.75 effective July 1, and Washington State at $14.49 effective Jan. 1. Washington, D.C.'s minimum wage is $15.20.
  • Ten more states have scheduled incremental increases that will bring their minimum wages to $15 per hour within the next few years. These states include Connecticut and Massachusetts by 2023; New Jersey by 2024; Delaware, Illinois, Maryland (large employers) and Rhode Island by 2025; and Florida and Maryland (small employers) by 2026. Pennsylvania will also reach $15 per hour for employees under the governor's jurisdiction by 2024.

To read the Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. analysis on upcoming state minimum wage changes, click here.