Minimum Wage in Memphis

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

The minimum wage in Memphis, Tennessee, is $7.25 per hour in 2023.

Memphis, TN, is undoubtedly one of the most popular cities within the state itself. Many people choose Memphis as their place to live and work due to continued job growth, affordable housing, an overall low cost of living, and its abundance of world-class attractions and restaurants.

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

The weekly minimum wage in Memphis equates to just $290 ($7.25×40) if you are working a full 40-hour week.

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.

Memphis Minimum Wage Exemptions

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

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

Below are the minimum wage rates for exempt employees in Memphis:

  • Memphis’ 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 Memphis 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 Memphis is $10.88 per hour for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week.

What is the Memphis Living Wage?

Due to Memphis being a big expansive city with a large population and competitive job market, you would expect the minimum wage to be higher for the city.

But, unfortunately for many, Memphis still follows the state minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour for many of its workers.

However, there is a ‘living wage’ for Memphis, TN, 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.

So, the living wage for an adult living alone with no children in Memphis is $15.62 per hour (via Living Wage Calculator), which is $8.37 higher than the minimum wage for the state itself.

Fortunately, there are many employers in Memphis who take this into account when they contemplate how much they should be paying employees within the city.

Taking all of the living expenses into account, the living wage annual salary (for a full-time person) in Memphis is $32,489.60 before state income tax in Tennessee.

Memphis Living Wage for 1 Adult

Below is a table representing the living wage in Memphis 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$15.62$31.30$39.63$51.67
Poverty Wage$6.53$8.80$11.07$13.34

Memphis Living Wage for 2 Adults

The table below showcases the living wage in Memphis 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$25.58$30.92$35.69$39.56
Poverty Wage$8.80$11.07$13.34$15.61

What is the Average Wage in Memphis?

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

According to payscale.com, the average base hourly rate is $18.60 per hour in Memphis. If you worked full-time (40 hours per week or 2080 hours per year), your average gross annual income would be $38,688.

So, as an employee or future employee in Memphis, you have a good chance of being paid a higher wage than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Fortunately, the average wage in Memphis is just an average calculation, and you could certainly earn more than this when moving to the state. However, you may be paid even less, with the minimum wage being $7.25 per hour, which is the case for many Servers in Tennessee.

If the living wage in Memphis is $15.62 and the average effective hourly rate is $18.60 per hour, then it can be considered a good choice for those seeking a move to the Volunteer State.

Memphis Minimum Wage History

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

Tennessee CityWageYear$ Wage Increase% Increase
Memphis$7.252023$00%
Memphis $7.252022$00%
Memphis $7.252021$00%
Memphis $7.252020$00%
Memphis $7.252019$00%
Memphis $7.252018$00%
Memphis $7.252017$00%
Memphis $7.252016$00%
Memphis $7.252015$00%
Memphis $7.252014$00%
Memphis $7.252013$00%
Memphis $7.252012$00%
Memphis $7.252011$00%
Memphis $7.252010$00%
Memphis $7.252009$0.6712%
Memphis $6.552008$0.7011.96%
Memphis $5.852007$0.7013.59%
Memphis $5.152006$00%
Memphis $5.152005$00%
Memphis $5.152004$00%
Memphis $5.152003$00%
Memphis $5.152002$00%
Memphis $5.152001$00%
Memphis $5.152000$00%
Memphis $5.151999$00%
Memphis $5.151998$00%
Memphis $5.151997$0.408.42%
Memphis $4.751996$0.5011.76%
Memphis $4.251995$00%
Memphis $4.251994$00%
Memphis $4.251993$00%
Memphis $4.251992$00%
Memphis $4.251991$00%
Memphis $4.251990$0.4511.84%
Memphis $3.801989$0.4513.43%
Memphis $3.351988$00%
Memphis $3.351987$00%
Memphis $3.351986$00%
Memphis $3.351985$00%
Memphis $3.351984$00%
Memphis $3.351983$00%

Final Thoughts

The minimum wage in Memphis is the same rate as the Tennessee state minimum wage, which also follows federal guidelines, resulting in an hourly wage for both Memphis and Tennessee of $7.25 per hour. As an employee in Memphis, 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 Memphis employers will pay more than $7.25 per hour to their employees despite not being legally obliged to.

Minimum Wage Rates for each State

Tennessee

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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 1,365 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.