California Workers Now Demand $30 Minimum Wage, Reports Claim

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A recent report suggested that California workers demand a new wage hike, up to $30 per hour, following an increase for fast food workers and an upcoming hike for most healthcare employees.

It started with a $20 wage hike 

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The Market Gains channel discussed the potential of a wage increase to $30 per hour because the cost of living is rising. The report began with the input on a $20 hike for fast food workers and discussed its impact on the fast food industry. It was said that a number of people had been laid off, including 1200 drivers, which happened in January 2024.

Some hotel workers will soon start getting $23 per hour

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Long Beach Measure hotel worker employees will begin getting $23 per hour, starting on July 1, 2024, and then increasing annually to $29.50 per hour by July 2028, the report cited. Previously, the minimum wage for hotel workers was $17.55, around $10 more than the federal minimum wage.

San Diego is considering even more significant increases


San Diego labor unions call on the city to mandate a $25 minimum wage for hotel and other service workers, a nearly 50 percent increase over the current citywide minimum wage. The legislation also includes janitor and security personnel at biotech and technology companies and employees at event centers. 

AI as a threat to financial stability


Though unrelated to wages, one California restaurant in Pasadena incorporated kitchen robots and AI in January this year. Automatisation has been a hot topic for the last decade, but for now, these robots are primarily used in dangerous environments. Still, one study found that robots could handle 82% of restaurant jobs. 

Small businesses


The effect on small businesses has not been good so far, with some choosing to close their restaurants while others are pausing expansion. Some raised menu prices to keep up with the wage increase. People generally support the wage hike, as confirmed by the majority (61%) surveyed earlier this year by CNBC. 

Reports of new demands 


Some hotel and airport staffers were reportedly speaking about demanding $30 per hour. However, as these reports state, these demands are focused on 2028 or even 2030. However, increased labor costs would come with price increases, so it might be too early to make projections about the future.

Most workers are pleased


Fast food workers are mostly pleased, though information varies. Some lost their jobs, while others had their hours cut. Those who kept their jobs felt relief after the first month. Some unions reportedly want to make $20 a minimum wage in the state for all workers. 

Franchise owners are not happy

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Scott Rodrick, who owns 18 McDonald’s franchises in the state, said that increased labor could lead to layoffs. Speaking about the new financial pressures, he described the last few weeks as a whirlwind, adding that the main priority at this moment is surviving. Rodrick raised prices between January and March, but additional changes are more than likely. 

Inflation as a factor


The rise in prices was especially noticeable in the restaurant industry. This was partly because of the increase in essential ingredients, which some believed to be up to 30 percent. With that, restaurants raised their menu prices, and people increasingly turned to cooking. 

Health-conscious approach 


Many people are also more health-conscious, replacing their favorite fast foods with healthier options. With fewer customers dining out, many fast-food chains will adapt or fail. However, this is no longer a California issue but a nationwide one, as we saw with Red Lobster, which recently filed for bankruptcy. 

Raising minimum wages has another advantage


As some restaurant owners in California, and even nationwide, noted, raising minimum wages is challenging. Still, workers are more likely to stay on the job, so recruiting workers is easier, which creates some savings for the employer. However, the adjustment period is often shaky for all parties.

Pasadena to increase wages


Pasadena’s minimum wage will increase from $16.93 per hour to $17.50 for all businesses on July 1, 2024. The city mayor’s office has confirmed this change. The new wage rate will remain in effect until the summer of 2025 when it will be adjusted again.


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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.