California Minimum Wage to Increase in 2014


Julia Frazer

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Wednesday, Sept. 25, that would increase California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour within the next three years.

The current minimum wage, $8 an hour, will be raised to $9 an hour on July 1, 2014, then to the final wage of $10 an hour on January 1, 2016. This bill, the first mandatory wage increase in nearly five years, comes as a welcome change for California workers.

Brown commented that the hourly increase would help to close the space between “workers at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy.”

Increase in the California minimum wage is forecasted to benefit at least 3 million workers in the state.

Census data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute reveals that approximately 90 percent of the workers who will receive a raise are adults over the age of 20, and 81 percent have some college education.

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Those who opposed the bill, including Republicans and business owners, declared that raising the hourly minimum could drive up business costs unmanageably.

“Small business owners will now be forced to make tough choices including reducing employee hours, cutting positions entirely, and for many, closing their doors altogether,” said John Kabateck, executive director of California’s branch of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Since its conception in 1938 at $0.16 an hour, the minimum wage increased with inflation until reaching its height in 1968. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer price Index inflation calculator, the 1968 minimum wage of $1.60 an hour would be $10.56 today.

This recent bill does not contain provisions to proportionally increase the minimum wage with inflation. Instead, further action by California Legislature must be taken to increase the hourly wage.

In the coming years, several other states, including Alaska, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Illinois, and South Dakota plan to follow California’s actions and raise their minimum wage.

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  1. Raising a family & owning a home are not a priority for any politician or business. Families & home owners should be a priority for everyone in California. Home owners drive the economy certainly not businesses or taxes. If the economy stays where it is more & more people will leave California for a cheaper place to live. Based on all of this it is important to keep the people who work in many service business as well to support this economy. The more we raise the minimum wage the more it will effect people to afford to use many services as well. Service such a food, hair, dry cleaners, and even convenient stores will be effected

  2. Well boo f*ing hoo. Big deal. 9.00/hr is STILL WAY below poverty level. They just don’t get it; if you give people NOTHING to spend, the economy will stay as is: in the hole. The federal minimum wage should be 11.00/hr just to make life livable for people who work. Now we have to work two jobs in order to pay our bills and there is nothing left for leisure. 9.00/hr isn’t going to change a thing. People will still remain poor and still won’t be able to spend any money for things other than food and bills.
    10.– per Jan. 2016???? that is two years away and guess what, inflation will get us way before then.
    Let’s hope federal minimum wage will be way ahead of all this petty b.s.: States raising minimum wages with nickels and dimes, bah!
    It’s not going to help anyone one bit.

  3. AND …. did you know Mr. Jerry Brown…that you cut costs in the San Diego Courts that put people OUT OF WORK….you dumbass…and your speed train to now where …