Kentucky State Minimum Wage

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

As it stands, 2023 has seen no immediate change to the Kentucky state minimum wage. Much like in previous years, Kentucky’s min wage has remained the same as the federal minimum wage – $7.25 per hour.

There are yet to be any updates on whether or not the federal minimum wage will increase over the coming years, if you are interested in learning more about the federal minimum wage, make sure you check out our PDF guide.

If you are a full-time worker on minimum wage in Kentucky, your earnings could be as follows:

  • Daily Minimum Wage: $58.00 (based on an 8-hour working day).
  • Weekly Minimum Wage: $290.00 (based on a 40-hour week).
  • Yearly Minimum Wage: $15,080.00 (based on being paid 52 weeks per year).

Will the Kentucky State Minimum Wage Increase in the future?

Like many other states, there have been talks over the Kentucky state minimum wage increasing incrementally over the next seven years or so. There are a couple of bills that have been pre-filled, but unfortunately, there has been nothing officially confirmed yet.

The overall plan is to try and raise the minimum wage over the next seven years to $15 per hour, starting with an $8.20 per hour rate in 2020, but that didn’t happen in the end due to many complications involving the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the nation’s economy. Many people feel it is unrealistic to more than double the Kentucky minimum wage within 7 years.

Did the Kentucky Minimum Wage Go Up?

The graphic below highlights the Kentucky minimum wage over the past several years. The minimum wage did not go up and remains at $7.25 per hour in 2023.

You can view and download the Kentucky minimum wage labor law poster for 2022-2023 here at no charge. Employers must display an official poster outlining the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), ensuring that accurate employee time and pay records are kept.

Kentucky’s minimum wage has not increased since 2009, the minimum wage is the same as 21 others that all follow the federal wage of $7.25 per hour. The federal wage has not changed since 2009 either. For more information and updates on the Kentucky state minimum wage, visit the Kentucky Labor Cabinet website.

Kentucky Minimum Wage History

The table below provides the history of Kentucky’s minimum wage over the years since 1983. You can see when there were increases in the minimum wage, how much they were, and what percentage increase it represents.

StateWage$ Wage Increase% Increase
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2023$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2022$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2021$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2020$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2019$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2018$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2017$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2016$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2015$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2014$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2013$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2012$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2011$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2010$7.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2009$7.25$0.7010.6%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2008$6.55$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2007$5.85$0.7013.59%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2006$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2005$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2004$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2003$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2002$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2001$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 2000$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1999$5.15$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1998$5.15$0.9021.17%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1997$4.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1996$4.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1995$4.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1994$4.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1993$4.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1992$4.25$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1991$4.25$0.4511.84%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1990$3.80$0.4513.43%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1989$3.35$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1988$3.35$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1987$3.35$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1986$3.35$0.7528.84%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1985$2.60$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1984$2.60$00%
Kentucky Minimum Wage 1983$2.60$00%

Kentucky minimum wage history for the past 10+ years – downloadable PDF below

Kentucky Minimum Wage History – Downloadable PDF

Kentucky Minimum Wage Exemptions

In addition to the regular minimum wage rate, there are a few Kentucky state minimum wage exemptions that typically depend on your age or employment situation. Below are the various minimum wage exemptions with some situational examples.

Kentucky Student Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for student employees in Kentucky is 85% of the Kentucky state minimum wage, making their hourly pay $6.16 per hour in 2023.

This hourly rate is for any hours worked up to 20 hours per week. As a student employee, once you surpass 20 hours per week, you will be eligible to be paid the Kentucky state minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

Being a student can be financially challenging, leading many students to pick up part-time jobs to make extra money while studying. Despite a student minimum wage rate, many Kentucky employers will not necessarily follow it and pay you equal to or more than the statewide minimum wage.

Many work-study programs are available at universities, which is a route many students go down. Still, coffee shop, cafe, bar, and restaurant jobs are commonly taken by students as they can work them into their class schedule.

Kentucky Under 20 Minimum Wage

If you are under 20 years old in Kentucky, federal law allows your employer to pay you as little as $4.25 per hour for your first 90 days of employment.

Once the 90-day period is over, you will be eligible to be paid the 2023 Kentucky state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour or potentially even more.

Fortunately for young workers, this is 90 calendar days and not 90 working days; therefore, it can be completed relatively quickly and within about three months.

Kentucky Tipped Minimum Wage

If you are a tipped employee in Kentucky (someone who receives regular tips as a part of their job) then you are eligible to be paid a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, with a tip credit of $5.12 per hour, ensuring that you reach the statewide minimum wage regardless if you make enough hourly tips.

Kentucky Overtime Minimum Wage

Once you work over 40 hours a week, you are eligible to be paid an overtime rate of 1.5 times your hourly wage for every hour you work past 40. So, the overtime minimum wage in Kentucky is $10.88 per hour, 1.5 times the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S., Jason has written over 1,200 business plans over the past 16+ years for start-ups looking to establish and expand their footprint in the United States.