Minimum Wage Rates Go Up Friday in City, Unincorporated L.A. County


LOS ANGELES—Minimum-wage workers in the City of Los Angeles will get a modest pay boost starting July 1, with the hourly rate increasing to $16.04 and in unincorporated areas of LA County to $15.96.

Prior to the date, the minimum wage had been $15.

According to the mayor’s office, more than 600,000 Angelenos make minimum wage and will receive a pay increase Friday.

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Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks to journalists in Long Beach, Calif., on Jan 11, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The city’s minimum wage hike was announced in February by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The City of LA’s bump is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the L.A. metropolitan area, according to the city.

“We fought to raise the minimum wage because hard work should always be met with the dignity, respect, and opportunity that fair pay brings,” Garcetti said when he announced the increase.

“Our decision to end poverty wages in L.A. caused a ripple effect across the nation, and this additional increase is the latest reason to celebrate today—and a reminder of how our fight for better wages is far from finished.”

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Workers at American Apparel in Los Angeles take a massage break. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The city’s wage increase ordinance was signed in June 2015, lifting it to $15 per hour by 2020.

Following the pre-determined increases, future hikes will be based on increases in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index.

“A healthy local economy means support for both labor and industry. This wage adjustment is in line with the spirit of the ordinance to ensure that wages keep pace with inflation and support a stable workforce,” county Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Director Rafael Carbajal said this week.

David Huerta, president of Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West—which represents more than 45,000 service workers in California—said in February that while the raise is a boost, it isn’t enough to cover the cost of living in Los Angeles.

“Although this is a good thing that workers are getting a raise, the reality of it all is that even $16 an hour minimum wage, as a result of the [Consumer Price Index] increase, it’s still a struggle for working people to survive in Los Angeles,” Huerta said.

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Construction workers in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, 2016. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry Commerce Association, said his organization opposes the minimum wage increase, as it did when the law tying it to the Consumer Price Index was passed.

“It was a huge increase over a short period of time,” he said in February.

Increases in the unincorporated areas in LA county were announced in March by the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs.

The county’s rate marks a 6.4 percent bump. The rate has risen steadily since 2016, when the county adopted a minimum wage ordinance that slowly increased the amount annually, reaching $15 per hour on July 1, 2020, for large businesses, and on July 1, 2021, for smaller businesses.

According to the county consumer and business affairs department, the hike applies to employees who perform at least two hours of work in a week within unincorporated areas of LA County.

In addition, employers are required to post an updated bulletin of the new rate in a conspicuous place. The hike also protects workers regardless of their immigration or work status.

DCBA staff have been conducting on-site visits to businesses to clarify the new wage laws and encourage full compliance, according to the agency.

City News Service

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