Skip to main content

We're days away from Minnesota having the highest minimum wage in the Midwest


Starting Saturday, Minnesota will have the highest minimum wage in the Midwest and one of the most generous in the country as it increases to $9 an hour.

An estimated 288,000 low-paid workers in Minnesota will benefit from the $1-an-hour raise, The Associated Press reports, which is the second of three annual increases that will see it rise again to $9.50 next August, and increase with inflation from then on.

It means Minnesota will be ahead of the minimum wages offered by South Dakota ($8.50), Illinois ($8.25) and Michigan ($8.15), which currently have the highest in the region, according to the National Conference of States Legislators (NCSL).

But not everyone has to follow it, small companies – with less than $500,000 in revenue – can still pay their workers the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, Minnesota law says.

Upon announcing the hikes last year, Gov. Mark Dayton said: "Minnesotans who work full-time should be able to earn enough money to lift their families out of poverty, and through hard work and additional training, achieve the middle-class American Dream."

NCSL figures show the increase puts Minnesota among the states with the highest minimum wage.

The highest is currently the District of Columbia, where it is $10.50 an hour, with Washington state paying $9.47, Oregon at $9.25 and Vermont and Connecticut at $9.15.

Several states, including California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii are planning future increases that will take their minimums above $10 per hour.

Amid concern from some quarters about the impact the increase could have on employers, Gov. Dayton told the AP higher wages would benefit the wider economy.

"People aren't flying out to New York to spend this money. They're spending it in their local economy," he said "That's what drives our economy forward. It's not trickle-down economics. It's consumer spending."

Next Up

unsplash football helmet ground

Parents of star QB suspended for state final file lawsuit to let him play

He was automatically suspended after receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct calls in the semifinal.

Christopher Endicott

Former Lakeville principal dies in Crow Wing County jail

The 53-year-old was pronounced dead after lifesaving measures were attempted.


Vikings place Dalvin Tomlinson on COVID-19/reserve list

The defensive line takes another blow ahead of Sunday's game with the 49ers.


Photos: Tattersall Distillery's new 'destination distillery' in WI

The Minneapolis-based craft spirits manufacturer announced an opening date for its new space.

best buy

Best Buy considering added security to counter organized retail crime

CEO Corie Barry addressed the issue during a Q3 earnings call.

FINNEGANS Caribou image

FINNEGANS, Caribou Coffee team up for charitable MN brew

The Dead Irish Poet stout is now available at liquor stores and bars.