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LA Minimum Wage Could Be Among Highest in U.S.

Paul Ausick

Los Angeles could become the third California city to take action on a proposal to raise its minimum wage. The city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, is expected to announce a plan on Labor Day to raise the minimum from its current  level of $9 an hour to $13.25 an hour by 2017. San Francisco is considering a proposal to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15.00 by 2018 and Oakland is considering raising the minimum wage to $12.25 by 2015.

Some labor leaders in the city want wages to rise to a minimum of $15 an hour immediately while some business groups are concerned that higher wages will drive some jobs out of Los Angeles. Sources told the Los Angeles Times that Garcetti’s plan would raise wages to $10.25 immediately, and then by $1.50 an hour in each of the next two years. After that the wage increase would be tied to the consumer price index for Los Angeles.

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The National Employment Law Project (NELP) cited a statement signed by 600 economists which includes the following text:

In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market. Research suggests that a minimum-wage increase could have a small stimulative effect on the economy as low-wage workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and job growth, and providing some help on the jobs front.

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The chart below show the cities that are currently considering increasing the minimum wage and the jurisdictions that already have.














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