California Minimum Wage Increases Begin January 1

Dec 20, 2017

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

This is part of our series on new California laws taking effect in 2018.

California’s minimum wage goes up another 50 cents in January, as part of a law gradually raising it to $15 an hour over the next few years.

California’s new minimum wage in January will be $11 an hour—or $10.50 for businesses with fewer than 26 employees.

Many cities and counties have rates above the state minimum—but not Montague, just off Interstate 5 near Oregon. That’s where high-school senior Wyatt Ward works 14 hours a week as a stockboy.

“I don’t think it’s going to be all that drastic but it’s definitely nice to be making more money,” Ward said.

Ward is saving up to pay for car insurance so he can commute to college a few towns over—as well as a new rifle. He said it’s hard to imagine someone with a mortgage or a kid getting by on his current wage. 

“I’m at the stage in my life where I don’t really have too many bills, too many expenses monthly," he said, "so I can’t really relate to a lot of more, I guess you could say adults, in their 30s, 40s, that kind of thing.”­