Looking for Better Pay? What is the Minimum Wage in Wyoming?
By understanding the minimum wage in Wyoming, workers can make wiser employment decisions. For anyone looking for entry-level work or taking their first steps into the workforce, it may help them meter their expectations. Additionally, it gives them a chance to compare jobs, particularly when it comes to whether the salary feels fair for the work involved or can properly support their household. If you would like to know more about the minimum wage in Wyoming, here’s a look at what you need to know.
What Is a Minimum Wage?
The definition of a minimum wage, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is “the smallest amount of money that employers are legally allowed to pay someone who works for them.” Usually, the minimum wage is listed as a per-hour pay rate, and it applies to covered nonexempt employees.
The majority of the workforce in the United States is classified as covered nonexempt. However, there are a few categories of workers who may be exempt from minimum wage law, including:
Whether members of those groups are exempt does depend on the work arrangement, nature of the employment contract, the employer itself, and other details.
There can be several kinds of minimum wages. The primary one is the federal minimum wage. It outlines the lowest amount employers in the United States can pay per hour.
The last increase to the federal minimum wage happened in July 2009. For non-tipped employees, it is $7.25 per hour. For tipped workers, $2.13 an hour is the minimum. However, if their tips don’t bring their pay rate up to $7.25 per hour, the employer is mandated to make up the difference.
However, states and municipalities can implement their own minimum wage laws, though there are some restrictions about enforcement. States and municipalities cannot require a minimum wage that’s lower than the federal rate. Doing so would be a violation of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
They can require a higher rate. If a state or municipality implements legislation with a minimum wage above the federal minimum, companies in the affected area are required by law to follow it.
What Is the Minimum Wage in Wyoming?
The minimum wage in Wyoming is $7.25 per hour. Technically, the state had to default to that rate. While there is legislation in place outlining $5.15 per hour as the minimum wage in Wyoming, that doesn’t meet the FLSA. As a result, since it is below the federal minimum wage, the $7.25 per hour rate applies.
In March 2021, a bill was presented to raise the minimum wage in Wyoming to $15 per hour. However, it is unlikely to move forward.
Is the Wyoming Minimum Wage a Living Wage?
A living wage, in the simplest sense, is an hourly pay rate that is considered sufficient enough to support a household of a particular size. Usually, living wage per hour rates are based on working full-time, which is traditionally viewed as 40 hours each week or 2,080 hours every year.
For all family sizes, the minimum wage in Wyoming doesn’t qualify as a living wage. A single adult without children, the living wage is $13.19 per hour. For a family with two adults and two children, the living wage if one adult is working is $29.53 per hour. If both adults work, it shifts to $19.14 per hour.
Even in a household of two working adults who don’t have children, the living wage exceeds the minimum wage. For that household, a living wage is considered to be $10.83 per hour.
Minimum Wage Above The Poverty Wage
In some cases, the minimum wage is above the poverty wage. That’s the case with single adult households without children, where the poverty wage is $6.13 per hour, and households with two working adults, where the poverty wage is $4.14 per hour for households without children and $6.30 per hour for households with two children.
However, for households with two adults – only one working – and two children, the poverty wage is $12.60 per hour. That’s far above the minimum wage.
Ultimately, there aren’t any scenarios where the Wyoming minimum wage is classified as a living wage. Additionally, it’s a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to the minimum wage exceeding the poverty wage.
Do you believe that the Wyoming minimum wage is in a good place, or do you think a different amount makes more sense? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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