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Louisville's Minimum Wage Goes Up Friday

Minimum wage increase supporters at a recent Metro Council meeting.
Minimum wage increase supporters at a recent Metro Council meeting.

Workers making minimum wage in Louisville will get a pay bump Friday. They'll be doing 50 cents better, making $8.25 an hour.

When the proposal was floated last year, some of the city’s business owners feared job losses. But Kenny Colston of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy says that hasn’t been the case.

"We haven’t seen people running for the hills or running to Indiana or Bullitt County when it comes to job losses," Colston says. "We just haven’t seen that."

In fact, over the past year, the city’s unemployment rate dropped from 5 percent to 4.4 percent.

Louisville’s minimum wage will eventually go up to $9 an hour on July 1, 2017.

Caitlin Lally works for UFCW Local 227 -- the union that represents food and retail workers. She and other advocates believe a wage that a worker in Louisville can afford the necessities is $10.10 an hour.

"We’ve been very clear that while we’re happy to see wages going up, it’s nowhere near enough," she said.

Whether the wage increase will be permanent is up to the state Supreme Court. The court is expected to rule this year on whether local governments can raise the minimum wage within their boundaries.

Listen to the audio in the player above. 

Roxanne Scott covers education for WFPL News.

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