The highest minimum wage in the nation is set to rise again in 2013, as San Francisco’s low-end compensation rate will increase from $10.24 to $10.55 per hour.
In 2003, voters approved a local ordinance tying the minimum wage to the regional rate of inflation in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Set at $8.50 per hour when the law took effect, The City’s minimum wage has increased in every year but one since 2004.
City officials and low-wage worker advocate groups have long argued that increasing the minimum wage helps the local economy by giving service industry workers more disposable income to spend.
S.F. employers paying more
Minimum wage has risen almost every year since 2004:
2004: $8.50 per hour
2005: $8.62 per hour
2006: $8.82 per hour
2007: $9.14 per hour
2008: $9.36 per hour
2009: $9.79 per hour
2010: $9.79 per hour
2011: $9.92 per hour
2012: $10.24 per hour
2013: $10.55 per hour
Source: San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement
In addition, a 2004 peer-reviewed UC Berkeley study found that the rising minimum wage had no impact on jobs or the propensity of employers to leave the area. Instead, it concluded that restaurants in particular passed on increased costs to customers, with prices rising 6.2 percent for fast food and 1.8 percent at sit-down eateries.