For Renters, L.A. Minimum-Wage Increase Is "Too Little, Too Late"

The Los Angeles City Council yesterday gave its decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 a final affirmation with a 12-to-1 vote.

The plan would mandate at least 15 bucks an hour for workers in town by 2020. But Zillow Real Estate Research this week concluded that such action "may be too little, too late."

No doubt.

The real estate listings site dragged out some pretty depressing data. 

A $15 wage today, in a household with two people taking that cash home full-time, wouldn't be enough to cover rent in more than half of the largest metro areas in the United States, Zillow says.

In Los Angeles, it's even worse. It takes more pay here than in New York to afford an average apartment, the site says: $24.98 an hour versus $23.72. And two earners under one roof would have to take home at least that much, full-time.

Only San Jose ($32.87) and San Francisco ($31.62) require more of its workers.

How much annual income would it take to be able to afford an L.A. rental on Zillow's site? The verdict is $99,920.

For Renters, L.A. Minimum-Wage Increase Is "Too Little, Too Late" (2)
Zillow

Let's put that in context: That kind of cash will put you in the highest one-fifth of income earners in the nation. In other words, you technically have to be rich — and not just rich, mind you, but part of the richest fifth of the richest nation on earth — to afford an average rental in Los Angeles.

Remember that the next time your pals at the bar are debating raising the minimum wage.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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