Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 per hour, prompting numerous cities and states to raise the minimum wage independently. Here are the 10 highest minimum wage cities.

#10 El Cerrito, California – $17.92

El Cerrito California
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From January 1, 2024, any employee working at least two hours in a particular workweek within the City of El Cerrito must receive a minimum wage of $17.92 per hour, irrespective of the employer’s size.

#9 San Francisco, California – $18.07

San Francisco CA 1
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All employees working in San Francisco, including part-time and temporary employees, must receive at least the San Francisco minimum wage, which is presently $18.07.

As of July 1, 2023, the San Francisco minimum wage has been raised to $18.07 in accordance with Section 12R.4 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. This minimum wage rate will be modified in line with the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.

#8 Denver, Colorado – $18.29

Denver CO
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At the beginning of 2024, Denver’s minimum wage rose to $18.29 per hour. The city’s minimum wage is adjusted annually based on the consumer price index to align with the cost of living in Denver, as stated in a city release. The increase in 2024 was 5.8%, which is lower than the 8.94% increase in 2023.

#7 Sunnyvale, California – $18.55

Sunnyvale California
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On January 1, 2024, the hourly minimum wage in Sunnyvale, California, was increased to $18.55 from $17.95. This minimum wage is applicable to employees who work in the city for at least two hours in a calendar week, as per Sunnyvale’s minimum wage code.

#6 Emeryville, California – $18.67

Emeryville California
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On July 1, 2023, the City of Emeryville’s Minimum Wage annual increase came into effect. According to the ordinance, the new hourly living wage rate for 2023-2024 will be $18.67.

#5 Mountain View, California – $18.75

Mountain View California
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The minimum wage in Mountain View, California, has been raised to $18.75 per hour, effective January 1st, 2024. Employers subject to the Mountain View Business License Tax or those with a facility in Mountain View are required to comply with this new change.

#4 West Hollywood, California – $19.08

West Hollywood California
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On July 1, 2023, the citywide minimum wage for all businesses in West Hollywood, California is $19.08. This rate will remain in effect from July 1, 2023, until June 30, 2024, after which it will be adjusted again based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

#3 SeaTac, Washington – $19.71

SeaTac Washington
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On January 1, 2024, the City of SeaTac adjusted the city’s minimum wage to $19.71 per hour. It’s important to note that this minimum wage increase will not include tips, gratuities, service charges, and commissions.

#2 Seattle, Washington – $19.97

Seattle WA
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Small employers with 500 or fewer employees will see the minimum wage rate increase to $17.25 per hour if the employer pays $2.72 per hour toward medical benefits and/or if the employee earns $2.72 per hour in tips. If not, the employer must pay $19.97 per hour. Meanwhile, large employers with 501 or more employees will be required to pay a minimum wage rate of $19.97 per hour.

#1 Tukwila, Washington – $20.29

Tukwila Washington
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In Tukwila, the minimum wage rate for large employers (more than 500 employees worldwide) raised to $20.29 per hour on January 1, 2024. For mid-size employers (15 to 500 employees worldwide or over $2 million of annual gross revenue in Tukwila), the minimum wage increased to $18.29 per hour on January 1, 2024, and then to $19.29 per hour on July 1, 2024.

Who is most likely to earn minimum wage?

Who is most likely to earn minimum wage
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The 2023 Bureau of Labor Statistics report highlights the demographic characteristics of workers making minimum wage or less.

  • Young: 45% are under the age of 25. 
  • Women: 2% of women compared to 1% of men. 
  • Black: 2% are Black compared to 1% among all other race and ethnicity groups.
  • Part-time workers: 3% work fewer than 35 hours per week compared to 1% of full-time workers.
  • In the leisure and hospitality industry: 3 in 5 of all workers at or below the federal minimum wage level work in restaurants, bars and other food services.  
  • Students, those with some college experience or associate degree holders: 2% have some college experience or hold a two-year degree compared to 1% of workers without a high school diploma or those with a bachelor’s degree and higher.  
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