In California a 50% increase in the Minimum Wage has been made into law. This increase will take place over the next six years, ending with a statewide minimum wage of $15. When complete in 2022, it will make the California minimum wage the highest in the nation.
California is not alone in these wage hikes. Other states have also been signing wake hikes into law recently. In fact, on the same day as California Governor Jerry Brown raised wages, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo raised wages in his state.
This is seen as a major victory by labor unions and the 2.2 million workers in California who are paid at the current $10 minimum wage.
To prevent extreme negative effects of this law, several safeguards have been added. If there is economic decline, such as loss of jobs or decline in sales across the state, then the wage hikes will stop at whatever point they are at that time. In order to assure this does not kill small business in California, companies with under 25 people will be given extra time to meet the new standards. If a budget deficit is predicted in the State, then the governor can also halt the wage hikes.
Many argue that this will still raise unemployment rates, cause prices to climb, stifle small businesses, and do nothing to help those that do not even have jobs to begin with. Even Jerry Brown said that “…minimum wages may not make sense”, and he was the one who signed the California wage hike law. However, others debate the fact that there millions of workers who work full time jobs, and simply do not make enough income to survive off of. This law will give them enough to income for their families to live on. Whether or not this will help or hinder the economies of our states and nation, no one truly knows.