The state of New Hampshire has no law requiring employers to pay a minimum wage. Consequently, the state’s minimum wage currently defaults to the federal minimum of $7.25/hour for non-tipped employees. The minimum wage for New Hampshire employees who earn more than $30/month in tips is set at 45% of the non-tipped minimum ($3.26/hour), but employers are responsible for paying $7.25/hour if the combination of an employee’s base wage plus tips adds up to less than the federal minimum wage.
New Hampshire currently has lower minimum wage than all other states in the New England region. Opponents of raising the state’s minimum wage typically claim that most minimum wage earners are teenagers and that low-paying jobs act as an important incentive for entry-level workers to improve their skills to prepare for better jobs with higher wages. Recent estimates found that 72% of minimum wage workers in New Hampshire are adults (age 20 and over); 36% are over age 30 and 14% of NH minimum wage workers are raising children. 32% work full time.
At $7.25/hour, New Hampshire’s minimum wage is too low for any Granite State worker or family with children to make ends meet. Based on the actual cost of living in New Hampshire, economists estimate that a single adult with no children who is employed full-time, year round must earn a minimum of $12.01/hour to achieve financial self-sufficiency. For families with children, the minimum living wage in New Hampshire ranges from $ 13.75/hour for households with 1 child and 2 adults employed full-time, to $ 36.24/hour for families with 3 children and 1 adult employed full-time. According the most recent wage and occupational data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor, one-quarter of jobs in NH occupations pay $12.71/hour or less, and one-half pay less than $18.70/hour. In 2017, only 1-in-4 jobs in New Hampshire occupations paid $29.36/hour or higher.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
MIT Living Wage Calculator for the state of New Hampshire
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for New Hampshire
All Occupations (HTML Table). Data includes number of NH workers employed and median hourly wages in hundreds of specific occupations.