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California and Federal Minimum Wage History

Many people come to this site looking for the current and past minimum wage in California and the federal minimum wage. We have compiled this information into one source. Below is the California minimum wage and below that is the federal minimum wage. Enjoy.

Did You Know? If you worked for less than minimum wage in California, you may be entitled to not only collect unpaid wages (what you should have been paid if you had worked at the minimum wage) AND a penalty equal to that amount in “liquidated damages.” That liquidated damages penalty can double your wage claim for unpaid minimum wage. Plus, there are other penalties you may be able to seek, including “waiting time penalties” under Labor Code section 203, which can amount to 30 days of wages. If you were denied minimum wages in California, contact us now for a minimum wage claim case evaluation.

California Current and Historic Minimum Wage Chart

Effective Date Mew Minimum
Wage
Old Minimum
Wage
Amount of
Increase
Percent Increase
January 1, 2008 $8.00 $7.50 $0.50 6.7 percent
January 1, 2007 $7.50 $6.75 $0.75 11.1 percent
January 1, 2002 $6.75 $6.25 $0.50 8.00 percent
January 1, 2001 $6.25 $5.75 $0.50 8.70 percent
March 1, 1998 $5.75 $5.15 $0.60 11.65 percent
September 1, 1997 $5.15 $5.00 $0.15 3.00 percent
March 1, 1997 $5.00 $4.75 $0.25 5.26 percent
October 1, 1996 $4.75 $4.25 $0.50 11.76 percent
July 1, 1988 $4.25 $3.35 $0.90 26.87 percent
January 1, 1981 $3.35 $3.10 $0.25 8.06 percent
January 1, 1980 $3.10 $2.90 $0.20 6.90 percent
January 1, 1979 $2.90 $2.65 $0.25 9.43 percent
April 1, 1978 $2.65 $2.50 $0.15 6.00 percent
October 18, 1976 $2.50 $2.00 $0.50 25.00 percent
March 4, 1974 $2.00 $1.65 $0.35 21.21 percent
February 1, 1968 $1.65 $1.30 $0.35 26.92 percent
August 30, 1964 $1.30 $1.25 $0.05 4.00 percent
August 30, 1963 $1.25 $1.00 $0.25 25.00 percent
November 15, 1957 $1.00 $0.75 $0.25 33.33 percent
August 1, 1952 $0.75 $0.65 $0.10 15.38 percent
June 1, 1947 $0.65 $0.45 $0.20 44.44 percent
February 8, 1943 $0.45 $0.33 $0.12 36.36 percent
1920 $0.33 $0.28 $0.05 17.86 percent
1919 $0.28 $0.21 $0.07 33.33 percent
1918 $0.21 $0.16 $0.05 31.25 percent
1916 $0.16 - - -

Federal Minimum Wage History

Effective Date Mew Minimum
Wage
Old Minimum
Wage
Amount of
Increase
Percent Increase
1939 $0.30 - - -
1945 $0.40 $0.30 $0.10 33.33 percent
1950 $0.75 $0.40 $0.35 87.50 percent
1956 $1.00 $0.75 $0.25 33.33 percent
1965 $1.25 $1.00 -$0.25 25.00 percent
1967 $1.00 $1.25 $0.25 -20.00 percent
1968 $1.15 $1.00 $0.15 15.00 percent
1969 $1.30 $1.15 $0.15 13.04 percent
1970 $1.45 $1.30 $0.15 11.54 percent
1971 $1.60 $1.45 $0.15 10.34 percent
1974 $1.90 $1.60 $0.30 18.75 percent
1975 $2.00 $1.90 $0.10 5.26 percent
1976 $2.20 $2.00 $0.20 10.00 percent
1977 $2.30 $2.20 $0.10 4.55 percent
1978 $2.65 $2.30 $0.35 15.22 percent
1979 $2.90 $2.65 $0.25 9.43 percent
1980 $3.10 $2.90 $0.20 6.90 percent
1981 $3.35 $3.10 $0.25 8.06 percent
1990 $3.80 $3.35 $0.45 13.43 percent
1991 $4.25 $3.80 $0.45 11.84 percent
1996 $4.75 $4.25 $0.50 11.76 percent
1997 $5.15 $4.75 $0.40 8.42 percent
2007 $5.85 $5.15 $0.70 13.59 percent
2008 $6.55 $5.85 $0.70 11.97 percent
2009 $7.25 $6.55 $0.70 10.69 percent

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