Louisiana workers saw their pay rise this year, and they could be expecting a raise

William Taylor Potter
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Louisiana workers saw their wages jump by about 7.2% in the past year, and many may be confident they’ll get another raise in the coming year, data from the ADP Research Institute shows.

As of April, Louisiana workers had a median annual salary of $54,300, which is tied with March for the highest recorded since at least October 2020. And if Louisiana’s workers follow the trend set by others in North America, they could be expecting their wages to increase even more.

A report from ADP shows that about 74% of workers in North America expect to get some type of raise in the next 12 months, with the average expected raise about 6.6%. For the past 12 months, Louisiana has had an average year-over-year pay increase of a little more than 7.1%, the ADP data shows.

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Even with Louisiana seeing significant growth in wages in the past year, it still ranks in the bottom 20 among U.S. states and Washington, D.C. In April, Louisiana’s average wage of $54,300 ranked 31st. 

One of the factors that appears to be holding Louisiana back from reaching the upper echelons of average wages is the state’s minimum wage. Louisiana is one of a handful of states without a minimum wage, meaning it must use the federal minimum of $7.25.

Of the 10 states and territories with the highest average wages, nine had a minimum wage of at least $10 per hour. Only North Dakota, which ranked fourth with $65,700 per year, had a wage below $10 per hour. North Dakota has a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. 

Washington, D.C., has both the highest minimum wage ($16.10 per hour) and the highest median yearly wage in the nation ($94,600).

In the bottom 10, three of the states used the federal minimum wage – Mississippi, Ohio and Utah. Two other states had a minimum wage below $10 per hour, including Nevada with $9.50 and West Virginia with $8.75.

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Louisiana’s legislature considered a bill that would have raised the state’s minimum wage over time. The bill would have set the minimum at $10 an hour in 2024 before gradually increasing to $14 an hour by 2028. The bill was shot down by the House Labor Committee. A second, similar bill is in Louisiana’s Senate, but it would also have to go through the House Labor Committee.

Louisiana has one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S., with around one in five residents living below the poverty line.