The federal minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. This rate went into effect in July 2009 and remains the minimum wage as of 2015, though some cities and states have higher minimum wages.
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets a minimum wage for the nation, but cities, counties and states can pay a higher wage. Washington state has a minimum wage of $9.47, while Seattle's minimum wage is higher at $11.00 an hour. Areas with a higher cost of living often mandate a higher minimum wage. In Vermont, the state minimum wage is $9.15 an hour, while in New York, the minimum wage is $8.75.
Certain areas of California have the highest minimum wage rates. The minimum rate is $14.44 an hour in Emeryville for companies with more than 55 employees, and Oakland requires a minimum wage of $12.25.