Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Minimum wage to increase to $15.50 in January

Rally for a $15/hour minimum wage. Courtesy of Creative Commons Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced that the minimum wage in the state of California will increase to $15.50 per hour beginning in January.

On May 12, Newsom proposed a $18.1 billion inflation relief package which would provide billions of dollars to assist California residents as the country faces rapidly increasing costs [in nearly everything including gasoline, food products, consumer goods and other essentials] due to inflation.

Through Newsom’s plan, billions of dollars are set to be provided to California residents for tax refunds, emergency rental assistance, past-due utility bills and hospital (and nursing home) staff during the pandemic.

Newsom’s plan also includes free public transit, health coverage for middle-class families and a diesel sales tax pause and child care fee waivers for low-income families.

Two $400 stimulus checks per car for California car owners are also in the works to be distributed in an attempt to neutralize rising gasoline prices that reached a record high earlier this year.

Additionally, the state’s minimum wage will be increased to $15.50 per hour for all workers and businesses (regardless of size) effective January 1, 2023.

Because California lawmakers voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2016, former Gov. Jerry Brown passed a state law requiring the minimum wage to increase to adjust to inflation – that, in most years, would increase by one dollar an hour.

The increase [in minimum wage] caused by soaring inflation, required by the 2016 law, states that the indexed automatic annual adjustments would increase based on the consumer price index, or if/when inflation exceeds 7%.

On Thurs., the California Department of Finance reported that inflation for the 2022 fiscal year- which ends June 30- will be 7.6% higher than [the year] before.

The consumer price index also rose 0.3% in April and was up 8.3% [from the year prior].

California will thus become the state with the highest minimum wage in the U.S., after seeing an increase to $15 per hour for companies with over 25 employees and $14 per hour for companies with 25 workers or less in January.

There are about 4.3 million low-wage workers in California.

With the shortage in employees throughout the ongoing pandemic, seeing 4.4 million Americans quitting their jobs in November 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many businesses were prompted to increase their wages above the minimum wage to attract (and obtain) workers.

Although the increase will benefit about 3 million workers in the U.S., it may impact smaller companies the most as the minimum wage jumped $1.50 in January and many small companies consist of ‘mom-and-pop’ joints.

Many businesses and companies are already preparing to increase their wages. The LA Times said that Los Angeles businesses will increase their minimum wage to approximately $16.04 per hour in July.

Official figures will not be final until this summer. However, millions of California residents and [minimum wage] employees anticipate the new changes and wages.

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About the Contributor
Clarissa Arceo
Clarissa Arceo, Community Editor
Clarissa Arceo is Community Editor for Talon Marks covering community news, Life, and arts & entertainment. She is a Journalism major transferring to a 4-year university in the Fall. Aside from reporting, Arceo enjoys photographing community events, reading contemporary romance and psychological fiction novels, and taking trips to the beach.  
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Minimum wage to increase to $15.50 in January