California Approves Highest Minimum Wage in the Country

Finance

As of Thursday, April 7, 2016

By 2022, California will be the state with the highest minimum wage in the country, making it an expensive place to do business.

On April 4, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that made California the first state to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2022. Under a deal reached with state lawmakers last week, the state minimum wage will rise to $10.50 on Jan. 1 for businesses with 26 or more employees.

Annual hikes will result in a minimum of $15 per hour in January 2022. Smaller businesses would have until the end of 2022 to comply. Currently, California’s minimum wage is $10 an hour.

New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo also signed legislation on April 4 that will raise New York City’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2018 before it spreads to the rest of the state.

For workers in New York City employed by businesses with at least 11 employees, the minimum wage would rise to $11 at the end of this year, then another $2 each of the next two years. For employees of smaller companies in the city, the minimum wage would rise to $10.50 by the end of the year, then another $1.50 each year for three years. For workers elsewhere in the state, the increase would be slower.

Currently, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.50 an hour.