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Minimum Wage in Arkansas in 2023

Last Updated on:

09 January 2023
Minimum Wage in Arkansas

The federal government has set a minimum wage for companies to pay a minimum wage to their worker. However, each state has the right to impose a minimum basic salary that must exceed the Federal min wage.

The minimum wage also helps the state government ensure that the working class earns enough to live above the poverty line. Again, if an individual wants to move from one state to another, the minimum wage is a parameter to understand whether the earnings will be sufficient to live in the area.

The United State Federal Reserve mandated that the minimum wage in Arkansas is $11.00 per hour. In this article, you will find the details of regular, tipped, and training minimum wage.

What is the Minimum Wage in Arkansas?

With this year's increase, Arkansas' minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If an employee is eligible for the federalwage under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the state minimum wage, they will be compensated higher than the federal or state minimum wage rate.

Arkansas's minimum wage is $11 right now, according to the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing law. This rule applies to businesses with at least four workers.

The state agreed to a wage increase over three years during the election in November 2018 and also the precise amount of the wage increase in the later years. 

Residents of Arkansas liked the deal a lot, especially since the federal minimum wage is still the same in many other states, which is insufficient.

1. Student Wage

Students who work full-time and give their employer a Student Certificate of Eligibility from the Arkansas Department of Labor may get permission to work for less than the standard minimum wage. When school is in session, these students must work less than 20 hours a week. They may earn $9.35 per hour.

On vacation, they can work up to 40 hours per week. They are entitled to at least 85% of the state's minimum wage. If the student works in a job that receives tips, they should be compensated the same base wage as all other tipped workers.

The same sub-minimum wage rule applies to both learning and apprentices students.

2. Tipped Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for workers in places where tips are given is $2.63 per hour. In this instance, workers' tips must add up to at least the minimum wage.

The employer should pay their workers who earn enough tips to equal the legal minimum wage, which is $11.00 per hour. It implies that it is up to the employer to keep accurate records of the tips workers earn.

The wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor stated that the tipped employees in Arkansas would be considered those who earn more than 20 dollars per month as a tip. 

3. Arkansas Weekly Minimum Wage

Non-exempt employees will receive $440 for working 40 hours a week. The same making is for tipped employees. However, students may earn less than regular workers, around $187 while attending school and $374 during a vacation.

4. Arkansas Overtime Minimum Wage

Every employee that works more than 40 hours per week is entitled to at least 1.5 times the standard applicable minimum wage. The minimum overtime pay is $16.5/ hour.

How is Arkansas Minimum Wage Different from the Federal Minimum Wage?

Arkansas minimum wage is higher than the Federal minimum wage, which currently is $7.25.

With $11, Arkansas’s state minimum wage is around 34% higher than the Federal minimum wage.

No non-standard deductions that bring the salary below the minimum wage are allowed.

Some of these deductions are

  • Breakage or spoilage,
  • Penalties or fines for being late
  • and leaving work without giving notice.

Some deductions can sometimes be made from the minimum wage, however. These can be made in response to court orders, but also if wages are given to a third party or if costs for the board, lodging, clothing, or other similar expenses need to be covered.

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage?

Most of the time, the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act says that any business with four employees or more must pay their workers at least the minimum wage.

However, a few employees aren't required to be paid minimum wage in a business, even with more than four workers. These jobs would be:

  • Some farm laborers
  • Commissioned salespeople,
  • Independent contractors,
  • Workers in the government,
  • Students who are working for their school,
  • Students who worked as part of a program to learn a trade,
  • People who work in professional, administrative,and executive jobs.

Minors or child labor is allowed in Arkansas if the employee ages 14 years and above. Moreover, the work must be safe for the young worker. Here are a few factors of the law about Arkansas child labor.

  • Students under 16 can work for 6 hours a day maximum or a total of 48 hours in a workweek;
  • State wage law permits students to work from 6 am to 7 pm on school days. It can extend to 9 pm if they do not have school the next day;
  • Minors aged 16 years or above are allowed to work ten hours a day or a total of 54 hours a week;
  • They have permission to work from 6 am to 11 pm.

Minors are prohibited from working in these industries:

  • In the bar,
  • Mining,
  • Heavy machine operation,
  • Motor vehicle servicing,
  • Explosives handling,
  • And Construction.

Historical Change of Minimum Wage in Arkansas

Raising the minimum wage is only sometimes supported by all because small business owners have to pay extra money for less time off work. Also, they cannot hire as many employees as they need to work correctly.

It can be one of the reasons why Arkansas’s minimum wage rate fluctuated in the past two decades.

However, the state wage of Arkansas is still higher than in several other states in the United States of America.

The minimum wage in Arkansas went up to $7.50 per hour on January 1, 2015, which was the first change. Arkansas's minimum wage did not change from 2006 to 2015, which was $6.25. 

The raise was voted on and confirmed on November 4, 2014. It included other raises as well-$8.00 for every hour on January 1, 2016, and $8.50 per hour on January 1, 2017.

A 10% increase was seen in 2021 when the 1 dollar minimum wage was raised. Before that, in 2019 and 2020, the minimum wage surge was 75 cents.

On the contrary, in 2015, the state raised only 25 cents.

The annual minimum wage increasing practice is based on the CPI or Consumer Price Index. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is responsible for reporting inflation and calculating CPI.

Based on the rise in inflation yearly, as reported in the Consumer Price Index by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the minimum wage increases annually.

A chart of recent wage changes is given below:

Effective Year

Minimum Wage Per Hour





















1998- 2006









1. Which state’s Minimum Wage Is $15?

California has the highest minimum wage in the country presently. In January 2022, the state raised the hourly minimum wage to $15.

2. How much does Walmart pay an hourly worker in Arkansas?

Arkansas cashiers and salespeople make about $11.14 an hour on average, which is the same as the national average.

3. How much does Arkansas McDonald’s pay?

The average hourly wage at McDonald's ranges from about $7.75 to $18.90 per hour for Host/Cashier, Retail Sales Associate, and Retail Sales Associate.

4. How many hours is Full Time in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, 40 hours of work is usually considered full-time work. Every working hour beyond 40 hours will be counted as overtime. 

5. How many hours can you legally work in a day in Arkansas?

Generally, Arkansas has permitted work hours from 6 am to 11 pm. However, one can legally work overtime exceeding this 8 hours timeframe. In 24 hours, an employee can work for a maximum of 10 hours. 

Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way.We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.

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