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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 2009

The table of federal minimum wage rates under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 2009 is also available in a PDF Version. In order to view and/or print PDF documents you must have a PDF viewer (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader v5 or later) available on your workstation.

Minimum hourly wage of workers in jobs first covered by
Effective Date   1938 Act 1   1961 Amendments 2   1966 and Subsequent
Amendments3
           

Nonfarm

 

Farm

Oct 24, 1938

 

$0.25

           

Oct 24, 1939

 

$0.30

           

Oct 24, 1945

 

$0.40

           

Jan 25, 1950

 

$0.75

           

Mar 1, 1956

 

$1.00

           

Sep 3, 1961

 

$1.15

 

$1.00

       

Sep 3, 1963

 

$1.25

           

Sep 3, 1964

     

$1.15

       

Sep 3, 1965

     

$1.25

       

Feb 1, 1967

 

$1.40

 

$1.40

 

$1.00

 

$1.00

Feb 1, 1968

 

$1.60

 

$1.60

 

$1.15

 

$1.15

Feb 1, 1969

         

$1.30

 

$1.30

Feb 1, 1970

         

$1.45

   

Feb 1, 1971

         

$1.60

   

May 1, 1974

 

$2.00

 

$2.00

 

$1.90

 

$1.60

Jan. 1, 1975

 

$2.10

 

$2.10

 

$2.00

 

$1.80

Jan 1, 1976

 

$2.30

 

$2.30

 

$2.20

 

$2.00

Jan 1, 1977

         

$2.30

 

$2.20

Jan 1, 1978

 

$2.65 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Jan 1, 1979

 

$2.90 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Jan 1, 1980

 

$3.10 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Jan 1, 1981

 

$3.35 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Apr 1, 19904

 

$3.80 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Apr 1, 1991

 

$4.25 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Oct 1, 1996

 

$4.75 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Sep 1, 19975

 

$5.15 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Jul 24, 2007

 

$5.85 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Jul 24, 2008

 

$6.55 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Jul 24, 2009

 

$7.25 for all covered, nonexempt workers

Where to Obtain Additional Information

This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.

For additional information, visit our Wage-Hour website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our Wage-Hour toll-free information and helpline, available 8am to 5pm in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).


1 The 1938 Act was applicable generally to employees engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for interstate commerce.
2 The 1961 Amendments extended coverage primarily to employees in large retail and service enterprises as well as to local transit, construction, and gasoline service station employees.
3 The 1966 Amendments extended coverage to State and local government employees of hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, and to laundries, drycleaners, and large hotels, motels, restaurants, and farms. Subsequent amendments extended overage to the remaining Federal, State and local government employees who were not protected in 1966, to certain workers in retail and service trades previously exempted, and to certain domestic workers in private household employment.
4 Grandfather clause - Employees who do not meet the tests for individual coverage, and whose employers were covered by the FLSA on March 31, 1990, and fail to meet the increased annual dollar volume (ADV) test for enterprise coverage, must continue to receive at least $3.35 an hour.
5 A subminimum wage -- $4.25 an hour -- is established for employees under 20 years of age during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer.