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I am trying to find minimum wage data in the API as it is shown on this page: https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#stateDetails.

I know that there is the https://data.dol.gov/get/publications_view data table, however, is there a way to search this table for minimum wage data? Should I be looking somewhere else?

Also, it would be a bonus if I could get minimum wage data at the city level, as I know cities like Pasadena, CA have a high minimum wage than the rest of the state.

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Alternative 1: This link from the page you shared contains historical minimum wage data for all 50 states and the Federal government. You could scrape the tables from this page using R like so:

library(xml2)
library(tidyverse)

html <- xml2::read_html(
  "https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/stateMinWageHis.htm"
) 

html %>%
  rvest::html_table(fill = TRUE)
#> [[1]]
#>    State or other\r\n      jurisdiction                      1968 (a)
#> 1                        Federal (FLSA)                 $1.15 & $1.60
#> 2                               Alabama                           ...
#> 3                                Alaska                          2.10
#> 4                               Arizona 18.72 \r\n      - 26.40/wk(b)
#> 5                              Arkansas                   1.25/day(b)
#> 6                            California                       1.65(b)
#> 7                              Colorado      1.00 \r\n      - 1.25(b)
#> 8                           Connecticut                          1.40
#> 9                              Delaware                          1.25
#> 10                              Florida                           ...
...

Created on 2019-10-23 by the reprex package (v0.3.0)

You'll get each HTML table parsed as a list of data frames. Note that's you'll have to do a little bit of cleaning (e.g. tidyr::pivot_longer, purrr::map_dfr, and the stringr package may be helpful).

Alternative 2: You could acquire minimum wage for each state and the federal government as separate time series from FRED. If you're an R user, you can use a FRED API package like fredr (Disclaimer: I am the package author.)

Alternative 3: The Historical state and sub-state minimum wage data by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. From the data abstract:

We introduce datasets of historical state and sub-state minimum wage levels for the United States. From these daily minimum wage increases, we create state and sub-state panels at daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual frequencies. The state datasets span May 1974 to July 2016 and the sub-state datasets include city and county changes from January 2004 to July 2016. Estimating teen wage and employment elasticities using the state data generate very similar estimates to those estimated using minimum wage data from other recent papers. For the most recent version of these data and the code that produces them, see our Github page.

  • Thanks for sharing those. They are good resources. I take it the minimum wage data is not in the API then? – rbroadus Oct 28 at 20:00
  • I was unable to connect to the DOL labor API to help answer your question. There seems to be an ongoing discussion of these issues here. My hunch is that, no, minimum wage data in the exact format you're after is not exposed via this particular API. – sboysel Oct 28 at 23:17

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