Louisville Minimum Wage

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

The Louisville, Kentucky minimum wage is $7.25 per hour in 2023.

Louisville, Kentucky, is undoubtedly the most popular city in the state. Many people choose Louisville as their place to live and work due to continued and ever-growing job growth, affordable housing and cost of living, beautiful parks and outdoor recreation areas, and the many diverse restaurants.

The following graphic displays the Louisville minimum wage rate over the past several years, which, unfortunately for many, has not increased.

The weekly minimum wage in Louisville equates to $290 ($7.25×40) if you are working a whole 40-hour week, which is not very much! There are, however, some exceptions to this hourly wage for student workers, tipped employees, and overtime workers, who will all receive different minimum wage rates.

Minimum Wage in Louisville – Exemptions

The state of Kentucky does not have its own specific minimum wage policy, which is why it defaults to the federal minimum wage rate, and subsequently, so does Louisville.

Despite attempts over the years to create an individual, citywide minimum wage rate for Louisville, nothing has become official, with multiple bills being rejected. This has subsequently led to there being no individual Louisville minimum wage rate.

There are rules and laws in place to ensure that employers are paying their employees the minimum wage or above in Louisville, Kentucky unless they are exempt employees.

Below are all of the exemptions from the minimum wage in Louisville:

  • Louisville’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour with a tip credit rate of $5.12.
  • Student-workers (full-time high school or college) in Louisville are paid a minimum wage of $6.16 per hour for up to 20 hours of work a week. Any more than this, and they are eligible for the full minimum wage of $7.25.
  • The overtime minimum wage in Louisville is $10.88 per hour for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
  • The minimum wage for those under the age of 20 is $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment.

What is the Louisville Living Wage?

Due to Louisville being the largest city in the entire state of Kentucky, with a large, competitive job market and labor force, you would expect the minimum wage to be higher for the city itself.

Unfortunately for many, Louisville still follows the state minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour for the majority of its workers.

However, there is a ‘living wage’ for Louisville, which is calculated based on how much a person needs to pay their bills, food, and general cost of living expenses while living in the city.

The living wage for an adult living alone with no children in Louisville is $16.17 per hour (via Living Wage Calculator), which is $8.92 higher than the minimum wage for the state itself.

Taking all of the living expenses into account, the living wage annual salary (for a full-time person) in Louisville is $33,633.60 before the state income tax in Kentucky is deducted.

Louisville Living Wage for 1 Adult

Below is a table representing the living wage in Louisville for a single adult, with different living wages for the additional amount of dependent children they live with and care for.

Single Adult0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children
Living Wage$16.17$33.99$44.09$58.41
Poverty Wage$6.53$8.80$11.07$13.34

Louisville Living Wage for 2 Adults

The table below showcases the living wage in Louisville for two adults with only one working, including the costs for the different numbers of dependent children.

2 Adults (1 working)0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children
Living Wage$26.16$32.16$37.13$41.24
Poverty Wage$8.80$11.07$13.34$15.61

What is the Average Wage in Louisville?

Now that we know the minimum wage, exemptions, and the cost of living, or living wage, in Louisville, it makes sense to take a look at what the average wage is for employees within the city.

According to payscale.com, the average base hourly rate is $19.72 per hour in Louisville. If you worked full-time (40 hours per week or 2080 hours per year), your average annual income could be $41,017.60.

So, as an employee or future employee in Louisville, you have a good chance of being paid a higher wage than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, the average wage is just an average, and there are some people in Louisville, such as restaurant servers who are paid the minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

If the living wage in Louisville is $16.17 and the average salary equates to an effective hourly rate of $19.72 per hour, Louisville should undoubtedly be considered a decent choice for those seeking a move to the Bluegrass State.

Louisville Minimum Wage History

The table below displays the historical minimum wage rates in Louisville since 1983. As you can see in the table, we have included percentage increases as well as the dollar increase per year.

Kentucky CityWageYear$ Wage Increase% Increase
Louisville $7.252018$00%
Louisville $7.252017$00%
Louisville $7.252015$00%
Louisville $5.152004$00%
Louisville $5.152003$00%
Louisville $5.152001$00%
Louisville $4.251997$00%
Louisville $4.251995$00%
Louisville $4.251994$00%

Final Thoughts

The minimum wage in Louisville is the same rate as the Kentucky state minimum wage, which also follows federal guidelines, resulting in an hourly wage for both Louisville and Kentucky of $7.25 per hour. As an employee in Louisville, you must be paid this wage or higher by law.

The living wage is significantly higher than the minimum wage within the city, which is why the majority of Louisville employers will pay more than $7.25 per hour to their employees despite not being legally obliged to.

Minimum Wage Rates for each State


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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. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.