Minimum Wage Increases to $13.50 in San Jose, $15 in Sunnyvale and Mountain View

The wage floor in San Jose ticked up to $13.50 an hour, the next step in a region-wide push to raise minimum hourly pay to $15 by next year.

City officials in November 2016 scheduled a step-by-step minimum wage hike that lifts the lowest allowable pay to $15 by Jan. 1, 2019, and adjusts every year thereafter to account for cost-of-living increases.

“Our efforts to raise the minimum wage will provide a significant boost for the thousands of hard-working families across the valley who continue to struggle to keep up with rising costs,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a press release. “By moving forward with many of our neighboring cities, we’ll ensure that more of our residents benefit from a higher wage and that we have a more even playing field for our small businesses.”

Grassroots organizers spearheaded the push for higher minimum wages in San Jose with a ballot measure in 2012 that raised the lowest allowable hourly pay to $10. Soon after, several other South Bay cities rolled out similar ordinances, including Milpitas, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Cupertino and Los Altos Hills.

But Sunnyvale and Mountain View jumped ahead of the pack by lifting their respective minimum hourly wage to $15 when the clock struck 2018.

California’s minimum pay trails behind Bay Area cities at $11 an hour for companies with at least 26 employees and $10.50 for those with 25 or fewer.

According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, 18 states raised their minimum wages this year by way of new legislation, citizen ballot initiatives or inflation-related adjustments. The collective increases will benefit some 4.5 million workers, according to the report.

The federal minimum wage, however, has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009. When adjusted for inflation, according to the Pew Research Center, the federal minimum wage peaked 50 years ago in 1968.

Federal Minimum Wage PeakThis article has been updated.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. This is great news when can I expect an increase in my SSI and Medicare coverage to pay for the cost of buying something of getting sick in California.

    • What a hypocritical imbecile ! Sober up & pay attention !! Your Republican masters are planning on making big cuts to SSI & Medicare to pay for Trump’s tax cuts for millionaires. Empty Gums is unfortunately all too representative of a typical elderly befuddled Trump supporter. It’s all part of Trump’s plan for his loyal constituents – Oblivious Now & Oblivion Later !!!

    • Yet you whine about an increase to the minimum wage ? You’re just lying about being able to afford a housekeeper or being able to replace them with an expensive gadget ? I give you 4 Pinocchios & a Pants on Fire,it would even be more believable if Sarah Huckabee-Sanders had said it !

      • Wow Herb I thought you were going to say I was firing my illegal alien housekeeper, I only pay $3.00 an hour.
        Now I’m funneling money off to some made in China company.

        Your really slipping up and missing opportunities Waxhead.

  2. …and so inflation continues. What worth is a pay increase if everything you purchase or pay rent for goes up twofold to compensate for increased costs. Minimum wage was originally conceived as a reason to give oneself incentive to achieve an education and higher employment. Good luck and Happy New Year!

    • Wow you must be a right wing trump supporter to even talk a kittle bit negative about raising the wage. You mean places will have to raise prices to make a profit. I’ll just buy on amazon. Good luck small business owners your toast.

      • Apparently your unemployed or flip burgers for a living and are perfectly satisfied. Welcome to the wonderful world of capitalism. Wish you the best of luck in counting on the government to carry you through life.
        Note: “kittle” is not a word.

        • Thanks oh well yes kittle is not a word. It was to be little. Hard typing on a iPhone X. If the stock market ranks companies like Facebook and Alphabet will slow down and the Silicon Valley will be a laughing stock. I would never open a small business in the Bay Area heading to Reno.

        • Best I can tell you two are agreeing with each other… but maybe I am seeing sarcasm where there is none…

  3. Another article on San Jose labor laws from a company that imho completely ignores them. Wake up Jen, your boss will convert you to an independent contractor one day, removing your benefits, and then the next he will reduce your pay to below min wage.

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