San Francisco Just Enacted an Over $18 Minimum Wage

Today, July 1st, the City and County of San Francisco raised the municipality’s new minimum wage to $18.07 — about 250% more than the current federal minimum wage.

Living in San Francisco is by no means a frugal exercise. The seven-by-seven has been in the top five most expensive cities to rent for the past decade, and it currently sits at number two, just a few hundred dollars short of the average rents in New York City for a one-bedroom apartment; San Francisco is also, quite literally, the most expensive places to rent… in the entire world.

A gallon of gas here is nearly $2 above the national average. The cost of living in San Francisco is 28% higher than the California state average  — and a whopping 79% higher than the national average. On top of all of this, Muni rates and regional bridge toll fares are expected to substantially increase soon.

In order to live comfortably in San Francisco, you’d need to make *at least* $88,000 a year as a single person; the City deems gross annual earnings below this as low-earning. That’s… well, you can fill in the swear-filled statement.

Official SF minimum wage poster, which is shown in multiple languages.

While the $42 hourly wage that would reflect the above-mentioned salary isn’t City law yet, San Francisco’s new minimum wage of $18.07 went into effect today.

“On July 1, 2023, the San Francisco minimum wage will increase to $18.07,” reads a web copy from the City’s official government website. “This increase is based on Section 12R.4 of the San Francisco Administrative Code. The minimum wage rate will be adjusted based on the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.”

Prior to this hike, SF’s minimum wage sat at $16.99. In 2014, San Francisco passed new legislation that would increase the local minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by July 1, 2018, and adjust the wage rate — based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — each July 1 thereafter. Because of inflation and soaring cost-of-living expenses, CPI figures have led to increased minimum wages in SF and elsewhere in the Bay Area to meet those financial demands.

San Francisco has now joined other SF Bay Area cities that have $18-plus minimum wages. Berkeley raised its minimum wage to $18.07 as well today; Mountain View saw its minimum wage soar to $18.15 at the start of this year; as of publishing, Emmergyile currently has the highest minimum wage of any SF Bay Area municipality at $18.67.

Want to shake a stick at what the federal minimum wage is? $7.25. When was it last changed? 2009… nearly fifteen years ago. And since then, living expenses in the United States have ballooned over 30%. 

Although rates of inflation and cost-of-living expenses seem to be flatlining (for now), best believe we’ll still be kissing the creaky floors of our rent-controlled apartment and continue shopping at Trader Joe’s.

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