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When will California increase the minimum wage to $18?

Learn about the initiative that would increase the state minimum wage in California to $18 per hour. Voters will decide on the proposal in 2024.

Conoce la iniciativa que aumentaría el salario mínimo a $18 dólares por hora en California. La propuesta será votada en 2024.
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The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour in the US. However, 30 states and the District of Columbia have established higher base salaries.

California is one of the states with a minimum wage higher than the federal rate and one of the highest in the country, behind only the District of Columbia and the state of Washington.

Currently, the base salary in California is $15.50 per hour, and next year it is set to increase even more. There is an initiative in the state to increase the minimum wage to $18 per hour.

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What is the initiative to increase the minimum wage to $18 in California?

California voters will consider a proposal on the November 2024 ballot to raise the statewide minimum wage to $18 per hour.

Votes in favor of the proposal

According to Ballotpedia, a “yes” vote supports increasing the state minimum wage to $18 per hour.

The increase would begin in 2025 for large employers and apply to all employers in 2026. Thereafter, the rate would be adjusted annually based on the cost of living.

Votes against the initiative

A “no” vote opposes this ballot initiative, thus maintaining an existing law that establishes a minimum wage of $15 per hour for all employers by January 2023 and provides for increases based on inflation.

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California will raise minimum wage to $16 per hour in 2024

California's minimum wage will increase to $16 per hour for all employers beginning January 1, 2024 following the Department of Finance's decision.

The California Labor Code requires the Department of Finance to make an annual determination that economic conditions can support an increase in the statewide minimum wage. This decision must be certified by the Governor and the Legislature.

The minimum wage increases each year by 3.5% or the rate of change in the averages of the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and white-collar workers (CPI-W) of the previous year and the current year, whichever is lower, unless those averages are negative. If the averages are negative, there is no change in the minimum wage for the following year.

The CPI-W increased by 6.16% during the period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, compared to the previous 12-month period. However, as it is a higher percentage, the minimum wage increases by 3.5%, remaining at $16.