Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage From $9 To $15 An Hour

Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage From $9 To $15 An Hour
Downtown Los Angeles Kevin Stanchfield / Flickr CC BY 2.0

It’s a big triumph for Los Angeles workers. The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to increase the minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour over the next five years. The new boost in the pay scale is considered to change the scenario of low pay workers in Los Angeles.


The wage raise was a call from workers across the country from the past, and finally, the Los Angeles City Council in a 14-1 voting held on Tuesday approved the 67% increase in pay by 2020. Demand for high wage was a demand by workers of several big companies including Facebook and Walmart. Several big cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Oakland have already increased wages, and many cities are taking up the call of do the same.

Once the mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the proposal, which would affect more than 800,000 workers. It is still unclear whether Garcetti would sign the new gauge, as he was pushing for pay hike to $13.25 an hour by 2017.

In 2014, dozens of Republican-leaning states like Alaska and South Dakota implemented high pay for low-earning workers.

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Other cities like New York and Washington, D.C. are still considering the pay increase.

The first pay hike will be effective starting July 2016. The wave of pay hike in Los Angeles will be very strong, considering that more than 40 percent of city workers are paid below $15 an hour.

“The effects here will be the biggest by far,” said economist Michael Reich from the University of California, Berkeley, in charge of studying the effects of the minimum wage increase. “The proposal will bring wages up in a way we haven’t seen since the 1960s. There’s a sense spreading that this is the new norm, especially in areas that have high costs of housing.”