The Minimum Wage in Louisville Metro is $8.25 an Hour

July 1, 2016

Louisville – On July 1st, the minimum wage in Louisville Metro jumped to $8.25, up fifty cents, as a result of action taken by the Metro Council to eventually raise the rate to $9.00 an hour by July 1st, 2017.

          “This first year of increasing the minimum wage has shown us it was the right thing to do. Everyone has benefitted and when you look at what has happened since we acted, other companies have raised their minimum wage and we are beginning to narrow the pay inequity gap that has held many people back for so long,” said Councilman David James (D-6).

          James was one of the primary sponsors of the ordinance approved by the Metro Council in December 2014, which sent the minimum wage on its way to a realistic increase over a three year period.

          “Back then we were told, such an increase would kill jobs, it didn’t happen. Businesses would fold up and leave town, it didn’t happen. Our unemployment rate would rise, it didn’t happen,” said Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge (D-3). “The doom and gloom predictions never happened, instead we helped some people make a decent living.”

          When the ordinance took effect in July of 2015, Louisville Metro’s unemployment rate was at 5.2%. At the end of May of this year, the rate rests at 4.2%

          “The Metro Council took a realistic approach to increasing the rate and it allowed businesses to adjust. As a result of the action we took, Lexington followed our lead,” said President David Yates (D-25). “I would hope that lawmakers in Frankfort would also take note and give serious discussions to increasing the minimum wage statewide.”

          Since 2013, thirteen states have increased the minimum wage in many cases to over $10 an hour. Last Monday, the city of Washington D.C. signed an ordinance to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15.

          “This was a starting point and if nothing else in this last year, there are many families who know what a difference that extra fifty cents has made in their budget,” said Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin (D-2). “We are talking about hard working individuals who have not yet rebounded from the Great Recession. This next fifty cents will continue to help out.”

          The Council members talked about the impact of the minimum wage at a news conference on Friday at the Old Louisville Tavern. It was also announced that there may be an effort to review the ordinance and see if it should be increased to reach at $10.10.

          “We now have seen the impact of a gradual minimum wage has had over the last year,” said James. “There is some initial discussion that it may be time to review the ordinance, and see if it should be adjusted upwards.”