LA just raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour

LA to follow several West Coast cities in raising minimum wage to $15

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The Independent Online

Los Angeles City Council members have voted in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 over next five years.

The decision would raise the city’s wage from $9 to $15 an hour by 2020, the Los Angeles Times first reported. The decision comes after much public pressure from workers from large companies such as Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and Facebook.

The second largest city in the country joins Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco and several other West Coast cities raising the wage as a solution to problems with poverty.

"Wouldn't you be motivated more if you got paid tomorrow, you know, higher than what you're doing right now? So, it goes for any kind of position, any kind of job. I mean, it's definitely a great incentive," Ruben Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce told ABC7.

The decision should also motivate officials in other large cities such as New York City to match the $15 minimum wage. In February, mayor Bill de Blasio said he supported the wage hike.

“The current minimum wage proposal simply doesn’t do enough to help New York City,” he said during his annual State of the City address in February. “That’s why we will fight to raise New York City’s minimum wage to more than $13 per hour in 2016, while indexing the minimum wage, which would bring us to a projected $15 per hour by 2019.”

The city of Los Angeles is expecting a positive impact on the economy, as more than 40 per cent of the workforce makes less than $15 an hour, the New York Times reported.

“The effects here will be the biggest by far,” economist Michael Reich, told the Times. “The proposal will bring wages up in a way we haven’t seen since the 1960s. There’s a sense spreading that this is the new norm, especially in areas that have high costs of housing.”