In less than a week, San Jose’s minimum-wage workers can expect a pay bump. A wage increase to $12 an hour is set to go into effect July 1, increasing the lowest hourly salary from $10.50.
This increase is part of a larger rollout, which was unanimously passed by the San Jose City Council in November 2016. The city aims to have a minimum wage of $15 by January 2019.
In a statement, Mayor Sam Liccardo said the city is “proud to be among the half dozen cities in our region” that are moving toward the $15 threshold. However, the wage hike will not be extended to youth in job training programs.
Business owners and nonprofits urged the council last November to support a rollout that would give them more time to prepare, while low-wage workers urged council members for an immediate change.
The average studio apartment in San Jose costs approximately $1,800 a month, according to the city, meaning an individual who makes the current minimum wage and works 40 hours a week often can’t even afford to put a roof over their head. And that’s just the price of housing, saying nothing of food, clothing and other expenses.
“This increase will provide a well-deserved boost for the thousands of hard-working families in our community who are struggling to keep up with the extraordinarily high cost of living in Silicon Valley,” Liccardo said.
San Jose voters previously increased the minimum wage in 2012 through Measure D, which brought the city’s salary floor to $10 an hour. The next scheduled increase will bring San Jose’s minimum wage to $13.80 in January 2018.