The Los Angeles City Council approved a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour by 2020 in a preliminary vote that found only one of fifteen members dissenting.
Los Angeles currently has a $9 per hour minimum wage. The new measure raising the wage to $15 must return to the council for final approval.
Care2 teamed with LA Raise the Wage to petition the city council for a minimum wage increase, gathering thousands of signatures for the members’ consideration.
Like other cities who have implemented recent wage increases, the process will take place in increments over the defined period of years. According to Reuters, City Councilman Curren Price Jr. prefaced the preliminary vote by saying, “We are embarking upon, I think, the most progressive minimum wage policy anywhere in the country.”
ThinkProgress highlights that Los Angeles is the largest city in the country to move toward a $15 minimum wage. Seattle and San Francisco are the other largest regions to adopt that wage level. The highest new wage in the country is held by Emeryville in California, where minimum earners will be making nearly $16 an hour by 2019.
News of the Los Angeles wage hike comes alongside congressional Democrats’ new bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. The current federal minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour, an amount that couldn’t realistically support a single individual in many U.S. localities.
Naturally, many Republican critics of minimum wage increases cite fears of layoffs in their resistance to raising workers’ pay. But the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data actually shows that raising the minimum wage just to $10.10 has a projected positive impact on 95 percent of workers and results in $2 billion of real income growth.
Los Angeles is positioning itself as a national leader in the fight for increased worker wages.
Will New York City step up next?