Los Angeles is Increasing its Minimum Wage to $15/Hour

A victory for the people: By 2020, Los Angeles will have a minimum wage of $15/hour.

City Council passed the bill in a 14-to-1 vote.

LA is the largest city in the country to adopt a $15/hour minimum wage, joining cities like Seattle and San Francisco in meeting this threshold. Meanwhile, New York City and Washington D.C. are also mulling over the idea to introduce the same hourly minimum.

It’s an unprecedented increase – $6 more than the current minumum wage – but if you think raises are a bad idea, kindly consider these facts.

LA will see its current minimum wage, $8.75/hour rise annually until meeting its goal five years from now. Small businesses (fewer than 25 employees) will have one extra year to adjust to the incremental wage increases.

The impact of this initiative will be particularly strong in Los Angeles, the second-most populous city in the United States – almost half its population currently survives on less than $15/hour. Pressure to increase wages in the City of Angels comes amidst national movements to see similar legislation enacted across the country, an effort that is finally yielding some tangible action.


“This says to Los Angeles workers that they are respected, and that’s an important psychological effect,” said Laphonza Butler, President of Service Employees International Union-United Long Term Care Workers. “To know that they have a pathway to $15, to getting themselves off of welfare and out of poverty, that’s huge. This should change the debate of the value of low-wage work.”

As for the psychological effect of a skilled worker who committed to four years of university education being financially on par as someone who flips burgers, that has yet to be determined. 

Seriously: According to the New York Times, “Even economists who support increasing the minimum wage say there is not enough historical data to predict the effect of a $15 minimum wage, an unprecedented increase.”

For now, it’s really great in theory. Kind of like comm– actually, nevermind.
Title photo: AP/getty


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