In a measure introduced by the city’s mayor, the City Council of Los Angeles is now considering a proposal to raise the minimum wage in the city to $13.25 by 2017 and is also being asked to study raising the wage to $15.25 by 2019. Late last month the Los Angeles City Council approved a hike to $15.37 an hour for workers at the city’s large hotels (300+ rooms) beginning July 1, 2015.
There are more than half a million manufacturing workers in Los Angeles, the largest manufacturing center in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal has reported that half those workers earn less than the $13.25 an hour proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in a plan he first announced on Labor Day.
The chamber of commerce president has said that raising the minimum wage will cause layoffs, business relocations, and higher consumer prices. A fashion industry group’s president said that the mayor clearly doesn’t want manufacturing in the city: “It’s almost as if they’re saying, ‘Get out of town.’”
Garcetti has acknowledged that some jobs may leave for nearby towns where the minimum wage is a state-mandated $9 an hour. The mayor’s solution is to persuade the nearby towns to raise their pay minimum as well. Good luck with that Mr. Mayor.