Tuesday , May 28 2024

Local Reaction to LA’s Minimum Wage Hike


 It’s what most of us expect to make when  we enter the working  world.  Minimum wage.  Currently at $ 9 an hour in  most  California cities including Fresno.  Slated to rise to $ 10 statewide   in January.  But if Fresno follows in the footsteps of Los  Angeles,  minimum wage could rise even more. 

Craig Scharton is the owner of Peeves Public House,  a restaurant in  downtown Fresno.  He hires primarily students– many part-time.  Yet  their wages account for a big chunk of his costs.  Scharton says, "  

Employee costs are 45 percent of our expenditures.  If that goes  up.  If it went from 9 to 15.  I would take a gigantic hit."

All eyes will definitely be on Los Angeles to see how this new minimum wage  hike plays out.  And it’s not the first city to do so.   Seattle  and San Francisco have raised their minimum wage.  Last year Chicago passed  a phased in wage hike to $ 13 an hour.

 But financial experts are  concerned about the long term effects.
 Financial consultant Martin Marzorra of Fresno says a higher  minimum wage would likely result in cutbacks,  automation, and ultimately a  blow to consumers. 

  He say, "Companies will leave the area if they can’t find a way around  it.  They will quickly find the technology to hire fewer people and they’ll  make the cuts in other places and or raise the prices."

  Business  owners agree and warn of what they see as a possible result.  Craig  Scharton says, "When people have asked me about this i’ve  said how would you feel about having a nineteen dollar hamburger?"

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