(CNN Spanish) — California — which hopes to raise the minimum wage to $15.50 an hour by next January — is currently one of the states with the best minimum pay in the United States, but it doesn’t top the list: First place is held by the District of Columbia with a minimum of $15.20 an hour, followed by the state of Washington.
A total of 30 states plus the city of Washington (District of Columbia) have laws that establish minimum wages higher than the federal one, set at US$7.25 per hour, according to information from the Department of Labor updated to January 2022.
There are states like Georgia and Wyoming where, on the contrary, the minimum wage set by the authorities is less than the federal one —in these cases, US$5.15— but when employees are subject to both regulations they are entitled to receive the higher .
At the start of 2022, meanwhile, 21 states raised their minimum wages by varying ranges from cents to $1.5.
States with the best minimum wage
Below is the list of the states with the best minimum wage in the United States, including the city of Washington.
District of Columbia (Washington City)
Minimum wage of US$15.20 per hour.
Minimum wage of US$14.49 per hour.
Minimum wage of US$14.25 per hour.
Minimum wage of US$14.00 for employers with up to 25 workers and US$15.00 for those with more than that number of employees.
Minimum wage of $13.20, and $15.00 in Long Island, Westchester and New York City.
Connecticut and New Jersey
Minimum wage of US$13.00 per hour.
Minimum wage of US$12.80 per hour.
Maine and Oregon
Minimum wage of US$12.75 per hour.
There are specific circumstances in which exceptions to these amounts may apply, explains the Department of Labor, for example in certain cases of full-time students, workers with disabilities, people under the age of 20 who are in their first 90 days of employment, those who receive tips and those listed as apprentices.
The federal minimum wage
The federal minimum is $7.25 per hour since 2009. The figure is not adjusted automatically, but requires Congress to pass and the president to sign a law to that effect. This period since 2009 is the longest that American workers have gone without a federally mandated wage increase.
President Joe Biden and some progressive Democrats have previously advocated for a $15 federal minimum wage, a proposal that already runs for federal contractors under a government order but failed in Congress this year.
The California Proposal
California’s minimum wage is expected to rise to $15.50 an hour next January as a state provision tied to inflation kicks in, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said Thursday.
Newsom’s office said in a statement that the state’s minimum wage law requires an accelerated increase when inflation exceeds 7%. The Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods and services, rose 8.3% in the 12 months ending in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.
Employers with fewer than 26 employees were originally going to be required to raise the minimum wage to $15 starting Jan. 1, 2023, state Department of Industrial Relations
Under the newly activated provision, the governor’s office said the $15.50 minimum wage will be required for all workers.
With information from Shawna Mizelle and Taylor Romine.