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Minimum Wage in Hawaii in 2023

Last Updated on:

09 January 2023
Minimum Wage in Hawaii

Federal law in the United States sets a minimum wage for workers based on how many hours they work. No matter what kind of business or organization it is, the employer must compensate the worker a salary for the hours they work that is enough for them to live.

Limiting the lowest pay protects workers' rights from being mistreated by companies, which will always try to pay their workers less. Still, the escalating living cost may make it hard for workers to make ends meet on their salary.

So, every year, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) changes wages so that each worker gets a fair share of the money their employer makes.

Even though Federal Law must be followed everywhere in the U.S., it is very different from one state to the next. This article tells you all you need to know about Hawaii's minimum wage.

What is the Minimum Wage in Hawaii?

According to the Act 114, Session Laws of Hawaii (2022), Hawaii minimum wage went up to $12.00 per hour on October 1, 2022 and it is still the same in 2023.

Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced this rate on September 19, 2022. It is the first time the minimum wage has gone up since 2018 when it was $10.10 per hour.

Therefore, from now on, the regular minimum wage is $12.00 for employed adults and workers till it is changed again.

1. Tipped Minimum Wage

Currently, in 2023, the tipped wage in Hawaii is $11 per hour. People who usually receive tips can be paid less than the minimum wage as long as the total amount they get from their employer and gr is at least over $7.00 the minimum salary.

The tipped minimum wage is applicable for jobs where the employee receives over 20 dollars monthly as gratuities from the customer they were serving.

Additionally, the Hawaii minimum wage law also ensures that the employer has no right to the tips the worker earns unless the Federal or State Law requires it.

2. Subminimum Wage

There is no mention of the minimum wage for minors or subminimum wages. However, as the regular salary surged, the employee had to pay at least 85% of the standard salary to a new or student worker. So, right now in Hawaii employers have to pay new or student workers at least $10.20 per hour.

According to the Subminimum wage in Hawaii, any job candidate under the age of 20 and the students will receive a subminimum remuneration. Since they still have academic activities to attend to, the wage law requires them to complete half of the working hours of an adult worker-20 hours in a workweek.

A new employee under 20 used to get paid $4.25 an hour. 

They will receive this paycheck for the first 90 days of their employment. After that, they will get regular workers' salaries.

Even if the payment is less than the minimum wage rate, the employer must ensure it doesn't exceed 85%.

3. Hawaii Weekly Minimum Wage

According to the newly announced wage, if you are an adult and work for a company for 40 hours a week, you will earn $480.

4. Hawaii Overtime Minimum Wage

Overtime's lowest wage for Hawaii is the same for workers all over the United States. If a worker works more than the standard time frame of a workweek which is 40 hours, his overtime earnings should be one and a half times the regular wage.

In Hawaii, the overtime minimum wage is $18, which the Wage Standard Division mandated.

Hawaii state law stipulates that people who work in agriculture, poultry, sugar cane, dairy, and horticulture are not required to be paid extra for working past their normal hours.

People who make at least $2,000 a month are also not eligible for overtime pay. Almost everyone earning under $455 per week or $23,660 annually is qualified.

There are also exemptions in certain jobs for

  • External salespeople,
  • Executive roles (full-time management of 2 or more workers)
  • Work requiring advanced education: certified teachers, artists, IT professionals)
  • Workers in administration (management, business operations, administrative training)

How is Hawaii's Minimum Wage Different from the Federal Minimum Wage?

The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for an adult worker eligible for the wage (nonexempt worker).

Although there have been petitions to increase the rate, there are fewer chances that the government will increase it depending on the current losses in the pandemic.

However, since the cost of living is rising yearly, the State governments have decided to set a different minimum wage after reviewing the inflation rate.

Currently, the minimum wage in Hawaii is $12, which is 37.5% higher than the Federal wage.

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage?

Most workers in Hawaii qualify to make at least the minimum wage. Still, there are a few exceptions, such as employees who receive tips, student workers, and people having less experience in other jobs that are exempt.

There are a few sectors of businesses where employers are not required to pay the minimum wage, and they can negotiate their hourly wage.

  • Agriculture and harvesting
  • Service at home
  • Work on a ship or vessel
  • Homes and shelters for children
  • Outside commission-paid sales
  • Analysts and programmers of software engineers or computer systems
  • Staff at summer camps for kids that charities pay for
  • The executive and administrative branches of the U.S. government
  • Fishing, processing fish, breeding, harvesting, and farming.

Historical Change of Minimum Wage in Hawaii

Hawaii's cost of living is the highest of any state, and the prices follow a rising trend. Considering this, Hawaii has the lowest minimum salary in the nation. In 2014, a law was passed to raise the minimum wage, and in January 2018, the minimum wage in our state reached its highest point: $10.10 an hour, or $21,000 a year for full-time work.

The most frequent modifications in Hawaii's minimum wage happened around the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s when it rose from $4 to $5 to $7 to more than $10.

The table below shows the minimum wage change of Hawaii according to year.

Effective Date

Minimum Wage per Hour

January 1, 2023


October 1, 2022


January 1, 2018


January 1, 2017


January 1, 2016


January 1, 2015


July 24, 2009


July 24, 2008


January 1, 2007


January 1, 2006


January 1, 2003


January 1, 2002


January 1, 1993


April 1, 1992



1. What is the Minimum Wage in Hawaii in 2023?

Since the minimum wage rate in Hawaii has increased from October 2022, it will also be $12 per hour in 2023.

2. What Is the livable wage in Hawaii?

The living wage for Honolulu County is $22.69 for a single adult and $29.19 for two adults with two children.

3. Is It cheaper to live in Hawaii or California?

If you compare the cost of living in Hawaii to that of California, you will probably find that Hawaii's living cost is much higher. The living expenses index in Hawaii is 196.3, while California's is 138.5.

4. Can you live off the Minimum Wage in Hawaii?

Hawaii's minimum hourly pay is $10.10, which translates into $20,200 annually. Although this is more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, it still falls well short of what is necessary to support a family. In order to comprehend Hawaii's high cost of living, two criteria should be considered: rent and housing prices.

5. What is Middle Class Salary Hawaii?

To live a decent life in Hawaii, the household income of a family should be $41,532-$181,202. 

6. How much does Walmart in Hawaii pay?

The hourly wage for Walmart employees is $17.94, which is higher than the state minimum wage. 


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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