Although the federal minimum wage mandated increase doesn’t become effective until July 24, 2009, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to have the wage hike take effect earlier.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet, Division of Employment Standards, Apprenticeship and Mediation has received a number of inquiries regarding the upcoming change in minimum wage because of the two effective dates. The later date is the federal deadline for all states to comply with the new minimum wage rate.
“This increase is significant for many Kentucky workers who, like others, have been struggling during these difficult economic times,” said Kentucky Labor Secretary J.R. Gray.
The minimum wage rate for tipped employees will remain at $2.13 per hour.
Sharon Butts, the executive director of the Cadiz-Trigg Count Economic Development Commission, sees the increase as an overall good.
“I think during these economic times it is tough for anyone to make a living on minimum wage, but any increase is always a plus,” said Butts. “It will be good for students who have summer jobs because it will add a little more change to their pockets.”
Of the 50 states and other territories, many have higher minimum wages than the national wage, many have minimum wages on par with the national wage and some have minimum wages lower than the national minimum wage.
The state of Washington has the highest state minimum wage, at $8.55 an hour, and San Francisco has the highest overall minimum wage, at $9.79 an hour.
(Dick Brown, executive director of the of Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s communications office, contributed to this report.)