By Spencer Whitney
The City council voted 6-1 to raise the local minimum wage to $12.30 per hour, which will go into full effect by 2017 with adjustments for inflation. The increase could make Richmond’s minimum wage among the highest in the state.
The current state rate is $8 per hour, while San Francisco’s $10.74 minimum wage is the region’s highest.
The ordinance will come back for a second reading next month and includes a provision that would peg the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index for the Bay Area each Jan. 1, beginning in 2018.
The ordinance sets a transition period where wages would rise to $9.60 in 2015, and to $11.52 in 2016. The state’s minimum wage is set to bump to $9 per hour in July and to $10 per hour in January 2016.
According to a recent study by UC Berkeley economists, San Francisco and other cities in the Bay Area that raised their minimum wages in the past decade, had little effect on employment, and found that businesses absorbed the costs through small price increases and higher worker productivity.