On Jan 1, 2020, California increased the minimum wage for workers employed with larger firms (at least 26 employees) in the state to $13/hour. The minimum wage for employees employed with smaller firms has been raised to $12/hour. California has been continuously increasing its minimum wage since 2017. The end goal of $15/hour will be reached by 2023. Around 20 Californian cities already have a higher minimum wage rate than the state’s mandate.

Speaking to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Californian Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a long-term advocate for workers’ protection, highlighted the need for a higher minimum wage. She said that businesses in California are growing at a steady pace. Business owners and executives are getting wealthier with each passing day. This has widened the wealth gap. She said that a higher minimum wage will allow families to live more comfortably. She also expressed hope that a healthy growth rate will be accompanied by a higher rise in the future.

Several companies including Amazon and Costco have already set their minimum wage rate (both $15) above the state’s mandate. Responding to the development, HDH promised to increase its minimum wage from $12 to $13 to match the minimum wage of San Diego County.

Minimum wage has always been a popular topic in American politics. As America goes to the polls this year to choose its 46th President, the debate will intensify. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has already stated on Twitter that lawmakers should seriously consider raising the minimum wage to $15.

In total, 20 states will be increasing their minimum wage this year. A rise in the minimum wage is expected to spur economic growth and increase productivity. Though the raise is expected to benefit families working for minimum wage, many argue that the increase can result in job cuts. A study conducted by the Congressional Budget Office says that around 1.3 million people may lose their jobs if the minimum wage is increased.

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