Minimum wage workers are looking forward to a new and more prosperous year. Starting in July the minimum wage will increase by a dollar.
Employees like Molly Wallner know what it's like to start at minimum wage. "It's definitely tough to live on minimum wage in California for sure," said Wallner, a barista at Bella Mundo.
Here are the figures: Minimum wage at $8 an hour you make a little over $16,600 a year. With the dollar bump it comes out to over $18,700 a year. Now compare that to the median rent on the Central Coast which is between $1,000 to $1,200. "This job is pretty tough as you are working on your feet and you just want to be appreciated for that so it's nice to start at that higher number and then be able to go even higher with that," said Wallner.
For business owner Jonathan Stauf, he says he's happy to pay the extra wage however with higher costs to run a business could bring higher prices at the register. "That's something that we always have to evaluate is how much is it to run the business and how much do we need to charge to be able to pay our rent downtown and pay payroll,” said Stauf, the owner of Bella Mundo. “So eventually the prices will come up a little bit with the need for that."
The increase is part of a 3 year plan that will raise minimum wage to $10 an hour. When it reaches $10 it will be one of the highest in the nation.