Los Angeles became the largest US city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour on Tuesday, as a wage increase bill passed the city council by a vote of 14-1.
It is now up to city attorney Mike Feuer to draft an ordinance to implement the new minimum wage requirements. The ordinance will then return to the council for a final vote before becoming law. Under the proposed legislation, the city’s minimum wage would increase to $10.50 in July 2016, and would increase incrementally every year until it reaches $15 in July 2020. For small businesses with 25 or fewer employees, the wage hike would come on a modified schedule with the incremental increases starting in July 2017 and the minimum wage reaching $15 by July 2021.
Seattle workers hail ‘historic moment’ as city sets course for $15 minimum wage
The current minimum wage in California is $9 an hour and is set to increase to $10 in January 2016.
In the past year, two other US cities have approved similar wage increase measures. In June 2014, Seattle moved to increase its minimum wage to $15 by 2017. Last November, San Francisco voted to increase its minimum wage to $15 by 2018.
Not meaning to sound negative, but the official inflation rate is only a tiny fraction of what the real inflation rate is. Since 1980, the US government has revised the way it determines inflation twenty times, and each time tended to make the official inflation rate smaller. The real inflation rate is about 7.5 percent per year.
Five years from now, that $15 an hour in Los Angeles will only be worth roughly $12 in today’s reality.