Business Journal: Minimum Wage Up
In a two-step process, California has increased the minimum wage for the first time since 2002.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
California took the second step Tuesday in its two-year move to increase the minimum wage. This latest move brings it to $8 an hour. The 50 cent increase is on top of a $1.25 cent per hour increase that took effect Jan. 1, 2007. At $8 an hour, California is tied with Massachusetts for the second-highest minimum wage nationwide. First highest goes to Washington state at $8.07 per hour. The federal minimum wage falls far behind at $5.85 per hour. The wage increase will benefit almost 1.4 million workers in the state. But the California Budget Project, a nonprofit that analyzes fiscal policies, said the hike wasn’t enough to lift low-income families out of poverty. Inflation in the state has averaged 3 percent since 2001; for minimum wage to catch up to inflation, it would need to be $8.24 an hour in 2009.