Today's the day San Francisco catches up with Oakland! As of Friday, SF's minimum wage rises from 11.05 to $12.25 an hour, which means the city now joins Oakland as having the highest minimum wage in the US.
As a comparison, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and California's state minimum wage was increased to $9 an hour in July.
According to a statement from Service Employees International Union 1021, over 142,000 will see their pay rise today, the first in a set of planned increases that will get SF's minimum wage to $15/hour as of July, 2018.
The Chron reports that women and minorities will benefit most from the increase, saying that "31 percent of Latino workers, 22 percent of Asian workers, 20 percent of African American workers and 21 percent of women will see an uptick," based on a UC Berkeley assessment from last year.
Those groups are impacted the most, says the Chron, because they "dominate sectors that pay the lowest wages: retail, restaurants and social services such as child care workers and home-health aides."
Today's increase, as well as the subsequent increases that will get us to $15/hour, were approved by voters last November with 78 percent of the vote. Oakland had a similar voter-approved initiative that led them to raise their minimum wage to $12.25 this March.
Oakland and SF are unlikely to be the only cities with these new rates for long: Emeryville's city council is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on a proposal to boost that city's minimum wage to $12.25 immediately, with scheduled increases to take it to $16 by 2019. This June, In June, Berkeley's City Council will mull a proposal to raise their minimum wage to $15.99 by 2017, up from their current rate of $10.