The Minimum Wage in California Is Expected to Rise to 15.50 Dollars

A gavel on a stack of $100 bills on a table

A gavel on a stack of $100 bills on a table

By Jose Cruz Roa


Sacramento, CA – Due to significant increases in inflation, it is likely that California’s minimum wage will soon increase to 15.50 dollars for all workers in the upcoming year. This increase in the minimum wage would take effect on January 1 of next year.    (A salary comparison for the state).


“The wage increase will benefit millions of California households that are struggling to keep pace with the highest rate of inflation in decades,” the California governor’s office said in a news release. “For years, the state minimum wage has increased steadily while inflation numbers remained modest.”


This announcement comes after Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration previewed an 18.1 billion dollar inflation relief package that is set to help address the costs of rising inflation such as free public transit, money for healthcare workers, middle-class subsidies, and waiving childcare fees for families. 


In terms of money for healthcare workers, the relief package includes checks with as much as 1,500 dollars for hospital and nursing home workers and that number could rise to 2,000 dollars with a workplace match. In addition, about 12.7 billion dollars will be used to send as much as 800 dollars to every eligible registered vehicle owner in the state of California and the governor wants to make public transit free for three months. 


Right now, the minimum wage for businesses with 26 or more employees is at least 15 dollars an hour, while those who have 25 or fewer employees have to pay at least 14 dollars an hour. 


Today’s current minimum wage is a result of a January increase that was part of a state law that has steadily raised the minimum wage since 2017 when it was around ten dollars. 


This state law requires an automatic raise for everyone if inflation increases by more than seven percent in a year. 


Furthermore, with the California Department of Finance projecting inflation for 2022 to be 7.6 percent higher than the year before, it is expected that all businesses, regardless of their size, will be required to raise their base salaries based on the state’s projection that the consumer price index will have risen. 


In addition, the minimum wage increase not only will affect hourly employees but will impact some exempt employees as well. In the state, some exempt employees must receive a salary of at least twice the state minimum wage, in addition to meeting the general duties and other requirements. 


After this summer, “if high inflation sustains,” said Keely Martin Bosler, the governor’s budget director, “it’s possible that there will be another jump by another 50 cents in the future years.”


This new wage increase will assist those who are considered low-income families struggling with the rapid rise in prices. 


“They have a huge impact to those families that are living off of those lower wages and their ability to cover the cost of goods,” stated Bosler.


Some communities throughout the state have already begun developing plans for higher pay rules such as Los Angeles which will increase its minimum wage to 16.04 dollars an hour in July 2022. 


Although an increase in minimum wage will assist people who are struggling economically, investors have stated that it can have an effect on those who are trying to help as well. 


“Tacking 50 cents onto the current minimum wage doesn’t come close to making ends meet for working families,” said Joe Sanberg, a Los Angeles investor. “We need a living wage of $18 per hour to keep pace with inflation so that working people and their families can afford food and a place to live without having to take on second and third jobs.”


About The Author

Jordan Varney received a masters from UC Davis in Psychology and a B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd. Varney is editor in chief of the Vanguard at UC Davis.

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1 Comment

  1. Ron Oertel

    In addition, about 12.7 billion dollars will be used to send as much as 800 dollars to every eligible registered vehicle owner in the state of California 

    Difficult to believe than a supposedly “environmentally-minded” governor would propose something like this.  In any case, the proposal is facing opposition.

    Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said the eventual plan needs to be focused on helping those Californians who need it the most — a goal that isn’t likely to be met by focusing on vehicles.

    “That plan leaves out non-car owners — the poor, the elderly, the environmentally conscious,” she said in a statement. “All Californians are impacted by the growing costs of consumer goods and are deserving of relief.”

    Newsom’s original plan to focus on vehicle owners would exclude drivers whose registrations are not valid — a policy that anti-poverty advocates say would leave out people who are behind on DMV fees and could use the cash the most.

    Also, thank goodness for the “anti-poverty” activists in apparently changing this (to include those who don’t even register their cars).  After all, these are the same folks who advocate on behalf of those breaking the law in the first place (e.g., regarding registration, smog, insurance, safety requirements, traffic violation enforcement, etc.).

    What a “great idea”, to subsidize them further. Hell, why not exclude them from moving violation tickets, as well? Including driving under the influence, reckless driving, hit-and-runs, etc. Might as well eliminate any parking enforcement for them, as well. (Perhaps they could just take their license plates off, altogether?)

    I’m no longer a staunch supporter of the Democratic party, though I’m not drifting toward Republicans, either.  (Actually, they seem like the same party, in a lot of ways.)

    I’d suggest voting for someone else, as hopeless as that may be. Go for it, as Newsom won’t lose, regardless of your vote. In fact, all of the Democrats are entrenched.

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