May 22, 2015
Los Angeles will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. The City Council’s 14-1 vote May 19 makes it the nation’s third city to enact a $15 minimum, following Seattle and San Francisco. More than 700,000 workers there currently make less than $15.25, according to a March report by the University of California at Los Angeles’ Economic Roundtable, and restaurant workers and retail cashiers have lost one-third of their purchasing power since 1979.
“The proposal will bring wages up in a way we haven’t seen since the 1960s,” said Michael Reich, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley who studied the issue for the city. “There’s a sense spreading that this is the new norm, especially in areas that have high costs of housing.” Read more