ST THOMAS, USVI -- The minimum wage in the US Virgin Islands will join the top ten states in having the highest minimum wage in the United States.
Beginning on June 1, 2017, the administration will raise both public and private workers minimum pay to $9.50 per hour, putting it on par with New York ($9.70), Rhode Island ($9.60) and Minnesota ($9.50). Currently, the highest minimum wage in the nation is Massachusetts ($11.00).
Governor Kenneth Mapp signed legislation last year to raise the minimum wage from the federal hourly rate of $7.25, in three stages, to $10.50 starting on June 1, 2018.
Approximately one-third of the US Virgin Islands labor force are considered low wage workers despite the Caribbean territory having one of the highest costs-of-living in the US, surpassing even New York City. It is estimated that 15,000 residents in the territory will directly benefit from the increase in pay.