San Francisco Minimum Wage – The city of San Francisco passed a proposition in 2003 that requires the minimum wage to be increased each year based on inflation and cost of living.
Now as of January 1, 2012, the rate will rise to $10.24 an hour, about $3 over the national rate.
The city is one of the most expensive areas to live in and is the first to see the minimum wage hit $10.00 an hour.
“It’s a psychological boost,” said David Frias, 34, an usher at a movie theater and a security guard for a crowd-control firm. “It means that I’ll have more money in my wallet to pay my bills and money to spend in the city to help the economy.”
“It helps workers’ morale in a time of economic crisis; they feel that they’re able to tread water and get some relief from the recession,” said Karl Kramer of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition.
However business owners in the city are saying that the wage is creating job loss.
Daniel Scherotter, chef and owner of Palio D’Asti, an upscale Italian restaurant, said the city’s minimum wage hike means that his highest-paid employees, the waiters who make most of their income from tips, will see more money in their pockets while his salaried kitchen staff will have to take the hit.
“What I pay for a waiter is more than double what Manhattan pays, it’s more than double what Chicago pays, and it’s four times what Boston pays. And those are … other big, expensive, pro-labor cities. But I pay what they all pay added together for tipped employees,” Mr. Scherotter said.
Mr. Scherotter said the double whammy of recession and wage increases has led to eight layoffs in his kitchen in the past four years.