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2021 Minimum Wage and Mileage Updates for Production

Original publish date: December 28, 2020

Minimum wage will go up in several states in 2021, so production companies will want to plan to make sure they’re paying freelance crew correctly. In addition, the IRS mileage rate increased, along with the ceiling on Social Security payroll tax.

Below are all states’ minimum wages, with the effective dates for ones that are going up.

2021 Minimum Wage by State for Production Crews

State2021 Rate (per hour)Effective Date
Alabama$7.25 
Alaska$10.341/1/21
Arizona$12.151/1/21
Arkansas$11.001/1/21
California – Small Employers (25 or fewer employees)$13.001/1/21
California – Large Employers (26 or more employees)$14.001/1/21
Colorado$12.321/1/21
Connecticut$13.008/1/21
Delaware$10.2510/1/21
Florida$8.651/1/21
Florida$10.009/30/21
Georgia$7.25 
Hawaii$10.10 
Idaho$7.25 
Illinois$11.001/1/21
Indiana$7.25 
Iowa$7.25 
Kansas$7.25 
Kentucky$7.25 
Louisiana$7.25 
Maine$12.151/1/21
Maryland – 14 or fewer employees$11.601/1/21
Maryland – 15 or more employees$11.751/1/21
Massachusetts$13.501/1/21
Michigan$9.65 
Minnesota – Small Employers (100 or fewer employees)$8.211/1/21
Minnesota – Large Employers (101 or more employees)$10.081/1/21
Mississippi$7.25 
Missouri$10.301/1/21
Montana$8.751/1/21
Nebraska$9.00
Nevada – employers who do provide employee benefits$8.757/1/21
Nevada – employers who do not provide employee benefits$9.757/1/21
New Jersey$12.001/1/21
New Jersey – Small Employers (fewer than 6 Employees) and seasonal employees$11.101/1/21
New Hampshire$7.25 
New Mexico$10.501/1/21
New York$12.5012/31/20
North Carolina$7.25 
North Dakota$7.25 
Ohio$8.801/1/21
Oklahoma$7.25 
Oregon (general)$12.007/1/21
Oregon (urban)$12.757/1/21
Pennsylvania$7.25 
Rhode Island$11.5010/1/21
South Carolina$7.25 
South Dakota$9.451/1/21
Tennessee$7.25 
Texas$7.25 
Utah$7.25 
Vermont$11.751/1/21
Virginia$9.505/1/21
Washington$13.691/1/21
West Virginia$8.75 
Wisconsin$7.25 
Wyoming$7.25 

2021 Minimum Wage Rates in Localities for Production

These localities have minimum wage requirements higher than the state or federal minimum wage, or will in 2021:

Locality2021 rate (per hour)Effective Date
Flagstaff, AZ$15.001/1/21
Alameda, CA$15.007/1/20
Belmont, CA$15.901/1/21
Berkeley, CA$16.077/1/20
Burlingame, CA$15.001/1/21
Cupertino, CA$15.651/1/21
Daly City$15.001/1/21
El Cerrito, CA$15.611/1/21
Emeryville – Small Employers (55 or fewer employees)16.847/1/20
Emeryville – Large Employers
(56 or more employees)
16.847/1/20

IRS Mileage Rate for Productions in 2021

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2021 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Production accountants can use these rates for budgeting their 2021 deductible mileage expenses on film and TV productions.

Beginning January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) is:

Social Security Payroll Tax Ceilings Increase for 2021

Starting January 1, 2021, the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase by $5,100 to $142,800—up from the $137,700 maximum for 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced Oct. 13.

The SSA also posted a fact sheet summarizing the 2021 changes. The taxable wage cap is subject to an automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) each year based on increases in the national average wage index, calculated annually by the SSA.


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