Minimum wage tops $16 per hour in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — The minimum wage rose Friday to $16.04 in Los Angeles as part of the city’s efforts to address income inequality.

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The increase, which was made official in February, is expected to benefit about 600,000 Los Angeles residents, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. The mayor spearheaded efforts to raise the minimum wage, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We fought to raise the minimum wage because hard work should always be met with the dignity, respect, and opportunity that fair pay brings,” Garcetti said in February in a statement announcing the pay bump.

The increase is the first mandated under a city ordinance that will see the minimum wage rising annually, beginning Friday, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, according to officials.

“The minimum wage rate increase is intended to help move us toward a better economy and ensure that employees can have their basic needs met,” Mike Davis, president pro tempore of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission, said earlier this year.

On Friday, workers in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County also saw their minimum wages rise to $15.96 in a move announced in March by the county’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.

“This wage adjustment is in line with the spirit of the ordinance to ensure that wages keep pace with inflation and support a stable workforce,” Rafael Carbajal, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, said in March. “A healthy local economy means support for both labor and industry.”

As in the city, the minimum wage for workers in the county will be increased annually based on the consumer price index, according to the Times.

The increases apply to people who work for at least two hours per week in the city or in unincorporated Los Angeles County regardless of their immigration statuses or whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary workers.