Jun 22, 2015
In May, the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the minimum wage from 9 dollars an hour to 15 dollars an hour – by 2020. This is only a gradual, step-by-step increase, spreading over five years. Similar minimum wage increases were approved in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.
But price increases take their toll now. In 2014, meat prices increased by 9.2 percent, eggs by 8.4 percent, and fresh fruits by 4.8 percent, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. The yearly rent hike was 4.9 percent in 2014. Considering that the average L.A. County apartment rental price is $1,716 a month, rents are well above the affordable range of minimum wage earners, even without such yearly rental increases.
So, these minimum wage increases may keep up only with the price increases at best, without changing the poverty level of the minimum wage workers.
This is no increase at all. Workers need a real increase – right now!