Minimum wage in Washington, D.C., rose from $9.50 to $10.50 Wednesday as part of the January 2014 legislation that guarantees an hourly wage of $11.50 by next year.
The $1 change is the second increase outlined in the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013, which the D.C. Council passed unanimously under former Mayor Vincent Gray. The first increase, on July 1, 2014, brought the wage from $8.25 to $9.50, and on July 1, 2016, it will rise again to $11.50.
Following the indicated $11.50 mark, D.C.’s minimum hourly wage will adjust for inflation every subsequent July.
According to a January 2014 report from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, the legislation directly impacts about 64,000 people, or 10 percent of the workforce.
A ballot campaign to further raise the minimum hourly wage to $15 an hour launched in April, among several other similar campaigns nationwide. If successful, the District’s minimum wage would exceed twice the federal rate, currently at $7.25.
However, continued efforts to raise minimum wage have seen resistance from local businesses, according to a D.C. Chamber of Commerce survey released Tuesday. Approximately half the businesses polled reported they would have to significantly cut employee hours, should the rate rise to $15 an hour.
San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles have all passed legislation that will increase minimum hourly wages to $15, while Chicago plans to have a minimum wage of $13 an hour by 2019.