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Hourly Wage Index
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Let’s talk wages in Louisiana


What is the minimum wage in Louisiana?

The Louisiana minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The Louisiana minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour. However, if the employee's tips combined with the hourly wage do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

There are some exceptions to the minimum wage law in Louisiana. These include:

  • Learners: Employers may pay learners a sub-minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days after the learner is initially employed by the employer.
  • Certain workers with physical or mental limitations: Employers may pay sub-minimum wages to workers with physical or mental limitations that limit their ability to do the job.
  • Employees under 18 years old: Employers may pay employees under 18 years old a sub-minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days after the employee is initially employed by the employer.

What is the average wage in Louisiana?

The average wage in Louisiana is $19.88 per hour. The cost of living in Louisiana is also lower than the national average, which may account for the lower wages.

What is the living wage in Louisiana?

The living wage in Louisiana is $11.33 per hour, or $23,560 per year. This is higher than the minimum wage, but still lower than the average wage. The living wage is the minimum amount of money that a person needs to earn to cover their basic needs, such as housing, food, and transportation.

What is the minimum wage in New Orleans, Louisiana?

The minimum wage in New Orleans is $10.00 per hour, which is higher than the state and federal minimum wages. The minimum wage in New Orleans will increase to $15.00 per hour by 2022.

Wages aren’t everything!

While pay is one of the main factors that hourly employees consider when choosing to join (or stay at) a company, it’s not the end all be all. Research shows that advancement opportunities, supportive management, and schedule flexibility are all incredibly important as well.

Want to learn more about this trend? We dive deep into the data behind which perks and benefits matter most to hourly workers. Check out our full conversation with expert Sara Wasserteil of Cara Collective.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between gross wages and net wages?

It's important to remember that the Hourly Wage Index data above reflects gross wages, or the amount of money an employee earns before accounting for payroll deductions like taxes, benefits, or wage garnishments. Due to variability in tax rates across locations, slightly lower gross wages in a certain location might result in higher take home pay, or vice versa.

What is a good hourly wage?

This question is a difficult one to answer, as a "good hourly wage" is highly subjective according to experience, work responsibilities, cost of living, and other factors. We recommend using Hourly Wage Index data as a starting point. Once you have established a baseline for certain positions, do further research into similar businesses in your area.

Lastly, consider surveying your employees. They're the best resource to help you know what is a good hourly wage, what competitive pay looks like in your location, and how competitive wages change in your industry over time.

Offering competitive pay is one of my top priorities—what other resources do you have that might help?

We know that getting applicants to pay attention to your business can be extremely challenging, and that offering competitive pay is a huge part of that. Wages aren’t everything, however! Applicant experience is another important factor that can help set you apart from your competition. A few examples include:

  • Short, easy to understand job descriptions
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Quick communication
  • Streamlined interview stages

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A Workstream hiring specialist can help you identify high impact ways to improve your applicant experience, and even help you determine what is a good hourly wage for your location and business.

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