San Francisco has officially become the first city with a $15 minimum wage for all businesses.
While this sounds like a great big step for low-wage workers, it’s important to recognize it in context. San Francisco’s cost of living is one of the highest in the country. According to a report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, families earning $117,000 now qualify as ‘low income’ in California’s Bay Area. And while $15 per hour isn’t going to do much to help individuals climb the economic ladder in California, it does seem appropriate that if it should happen anywhere, this should be the place.
The consequences of pushing for a higher minimum wage will continue to play out on the push toward automation and thus the loss of such jobs. For example, McDonalds just announced that self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented in all locations by 2020.