As required by city ordinance, Santa Monica’s minimum wage will increase from $15.96 to $16.90 per hour on July 1, 2023, the first day of the fiscal new year. The minimum wage applies to all employees physically working in Santa Monica for at least two hours per week – even those who work for employers located outside of city boundaries. The city has a separate minimum wage for hotel workers, and it will also rise to $19.73 per hour. Or more details on the city’s wage increases, visit the city’s minimum wage website

Santa Monica’s minimum wage rises every year at the same rate as the Consumer Price Index, a measure of the average change overtime in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. (More on the CPI can be found here.)

Image via the MIT Minimum Wage Calculator for Southern California in 2023.

The annual rise in the minimum wage, especially in comparison with the national trend of rarely raising the wage, is a positive move by the city. However, the increase for those not working in hotels falls below the living wage for Southern California for most demographics as calculated by the Living Wage Calculator created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The only demographic area which would meet a Living Wage would be a family with two working adults living together without children.

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