San Francisco's Minimum Wage Is Now the Nation's Highest

Categories: Talking Points
Woman_moneybags.jpg
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Clearly a woman making minimum wage in SF.
As of January 1, 2011, San Francisco's minimum wage went up from $9.92 to $10.24, which now makes it the nation's highest. California state's federal minimum wage is $8 -- that means San Franciscans are paid 28 percent more than minimum-wage workers in other Bay Area cities -- and the federal minimum wage is still $7.25 (ergo, 41 percent higher here).

Let's put that in context, shall we? According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, the cost of living in San Francisco is 62 percent higher than the national average, a figure that middle- and upper-middle-class workers are easily able to wield during salary negotiations. If we were to adjust the federal minimum wage for cost of living in SF, that would translate to $11.75.

And working 40 hours a week at $10.24 still only earns you about $1800 a month. Take out taxes, and then look and what you're able to afford on the rental market today. Rents have been spiking of late -- the average one-bedroom now goes for $1885 a month -- and at $600-750 a month your shared housing options on Craigslist are pretty limited.

Besides, San Francisco may hold the record for highest minimum wage for only a few months -- Santa Fe is set to raise its wage to $10.32 in March. The cost of living there is estimated to be about 38 percent lower than San Francisco's. You do the math.

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Lisa
Lisa

As of January 1, 2011? Is that a mistake, or have I been getting underpaid by my current employer?

Leo
Leo

I'm not looking to have the highest paid  the minimum wage job in the nation.

If the author logic is correct,then we need laws for consumers like the author to pay and buy more, so employers can afford to increase wages.  With the recession, employers really don't have the money and generally do not charge more for their goods than other cities to compensate for higher costs.  A bottle of Coke will cost the same in San Francisco and Oakland. So, how do they survive.  They don't. High priced yuppies stores or chains are taking over.  Small businesses are closing.

San Francisco makes it hard to to do business and chases away a lot of the good jobs leaving just low paying job.   If you went to college, it's hard to find a  good job in San Francisco.  Higher paying jobs are available in other cities that usually have a lower minimum wage and al ower cost of living.  Whenever, I chose to work in San Francisco, it  usually meant being underemployed and/or working for less money.in a job with less advancement opportunities and benefits.  

If you're a small business owner, you need higher income consumers to buy higher priced goods to help pay expenses. Low income consumers have to go to lower priced chain stores.

Aasdf
Aasdf

Good, now I'll tip even less than my 10%

loishutson
loishutson

how "cheezie" can you get? ..... I think you have set a new  record for it ... unless, and Ihope you were kidding ....

LAtotheBay
LAtotheBay

As a food server at the Fisherman's Wharf, I work very hard at giving my guests a good experience. I work where 90% of the customers are tourists, and many don't tip, or if they do, don't tip properly (standard is double the tax). I am not at all trying to play the victim role here, but there are many times when in the big picture, it ends up where I am paying money to be at work. Everything is computerized and the state deducts 15% of our total sales as earned income. It does not take into account that you don't always make 15% of your sales, you have to tip out the host/bartender/expo, and at my particular restaurant, if a table walks, or complains, we have to pay the difference. (I am also aware that this is not standard amongst restaurants, I suppose my employers are just jerks like that) So that being said, and my apparent food server bias, I am looking forward to the opportunity to actually make some extra money, and I hope that your feelings about tipping less than 10% (your poor servers' paying money to serve you) is not a common one amongst San Franciscans...

Ness
Ness

Well that makes no sense...since when does anyone figure out tip amount based on their server's pay instead of their bill total?

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

I don't understand your math. How is it that San Francisco's $10.24 minimum wage is more than Santa Cruz's $11 minimum wage?

Chrisdbrierley
Chrisdbrierley

try reading the article you linked to. Santa Cruz's $11 wage is only paid to full time city employees

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

For "now," yes. The article doesn't say when it kicks in to cover everyone, just that at some point it will.

Ness
Ness

The sacrifices we make to live in the most beautiful, amazing, exciting city in California...

Guest
Guest

"California state's federal minimum wage. . ." I had no idea California was a federation of states.

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