San Francisco Becomes First U.S. City To Cross $10 Minimum Wage Line

When the calendar flips over to 2012, minimum wage workers in San Francisco will be making a bit more, as the city becomes the first local in the U.S. with a bottom-line pay rate of more than $10/hour.

Minimum wage workers in San Francisco already earn $9.92/hour, already a sizable amount higher than the California minimum wage of $8.00/hour, itself an improvement on the federally mandated $7.25/hour.

And on January 1, San Francisco’s minimum wage will increase to $10.24/hour.

“It’s a psychological boost,” one local worker, who does double duty as a movie theater usher and a security guard, tells the AP. “It means that I’ll have more money in my wallet to pay my bills and money to spend in the city to help the economy.”

From the AP:

San Franciscans passed a proposition in 2003 that requires the city to increase the minimum wage each year, using a formula tied to inflation and the cost of living. It’s just another way the progressive people of the City by the Bay have shown their support for the working-class in a locale where labor unions remain strong and housing costs are sky high.

Some are concerned that the increase, while not huge, may push some employers — especially in the food business — to cut staff rather than pass the extra cost on to customers.

One restaurant owner tells the AP that between the pay increase, along with the other mandatory benefits and payroll tax imposed by the city, “What I pay for a waiter is more than double what Manhattan pays, it’s more than double what Chicago pays, and it’s four times what Boston pays. And those are … other big, expensive, pro-labor cities. But I pay what they all pay added together for tipped employees.”

SF becomes first US city to top $10 minimum wage []