Minimum wage in California is rising.The federal and state-level minimum wage has been under debate in recent years as some workers and hourly work advocates argue that the payment is not enough for someone to survive on in today’s economy.

Many states have considered the prospect of pushing up the minimum wage in 2020, including California.

Is the State Minimum Wage Increasing?

There are local and statewide changes affecting the minimum wage across California. California is one of 20 states that have boosted the minimum wage as of Jan. 1, 2020.

The minimum wage in California has been raised by $1 per hour, meaning that small businesses have to pay a minimum of $12 per hour to employees and companies with at least 26 employees have to pay $13 per hour. By 2023, California should have a $15 minimum wage and some cities are already exceeding the new minimum wage amount in preparation for that event.

When Does the $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Go into Effect?

The new minimum wage for large businesses in the county and city of Los Angeles and the cities of Pasadena, Malibu, and Santa Monica will go into effect next July.

Are There Federal Laws Currently Pushing to Raise the Minimum Wage?

Bills have been put before Congress in the most recent legislative sessions to push up the federal minimum wage. One of these was known as the Raise the Wage Act which would make a $15 an hour minimum wage a national standard. However, that bill did not make it out of the Senate.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. California’s minimum wage, however, has been increasing $1 each year since 2017, even though the federal minimum wage has stayed the same since 2009.

What Cities in California Are Pushing Up Their Minimum Wage?

According to data released from the UC Berkley Labor Center, multiple cities are implementing a minimum wage increase over the course of 2020.

These cities include Alameda, Belmont, Cupertino, Daily City, Freemont, Los Altos, Mountain View, Oakland, Petaluma, Red Wood City, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Sunnyvale among others.

Why Have Some Fought against Increasing Minimum Wage?

There are opponents in California and around the country that do not support raising the minimum wage. The primary argument put forward by these people is that the result would be fewer jobs since employers would have to pay $15 an hour to every employee, meaning that they might hire fewer workers.

One Congressional Budget Office study found that the wage increase at the federal level of up to $15 an hour would lead to a loss of over one million workers.  Federal data also shows that the rural manufacturing base of the economy in California could be heavily hit by the higher minimum wage.

Other factors impacting wage growth and job creation including local and state taxes, energy and land costs, access to roads and clean water, suitable labor supply, and the current legal environment. The last several years have been difficult for California’s labor environment, calling more attention to the debate around the minimum wage in California.

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