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Minimum wage in LA County increases from $15 per hour to $16.04 beginning July 1

Minimum to increase from $15 an hour to $16.04 in LA County
Minimum to increase from $15 an hour to $16.04 in LA County 02:33

Starting Friday, July 1, the minimum wage in Los Angeles County will go from $15 an hour to $16.04, and in unincorporated parts of the county, the minimum wage increases to $15.96. 

Anyone who works a minimum wage job in will receive the raise. 

At La Fogata, in Sherman Oaks, the owner, Vram Alian, said he had to do something before this boost went into effect because his employees were struggling so badly to keep up with the high cost of living. 

Alian said his employees are the heart and soul of his family owned restaurant, which has been a Valley staple for 30 years. 

"LA is really expensive to live in and we totally understand where the employees are coming from. So, I want to help out my employees as much as I can," he told CBSLA. "I have had maybe about four employees move out of state, to just a more affordable states. They couldn't hang anymore." 

That's why last year, Alian raised his minimum wage from $15 an hour to just over $16, to help keep his employees here. 

"We need to take care of them. They're running the business. They're the main, you know, workers behind the restaurant and if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here," he added. 

Though Stuart Waldman, President of the Valley Industry Industry and Commerce Association said the wage increase places a lot of strain on businesses still trying to climb out of financial issues brought on by the pandemic. 

"When you increase the minimum wage for some people, other people want that raise as well. So, they're going to expect to get a raise. It's called wage compression and eventually it's going to cost businesses a lot of money," Waldman said. 

For workers, some feel that the wage increase is a good start, but that it's still not nearly enough to make ends meet. 

"I work six days a week, you know. It would be nice to not have to work as many hours or as many days to be able to at least live your life outside of work too, you know?" said restaurant manager Elizabeth Hereva. 

In November, voters will decide on a ballot measure that would bring the state minimum wage for all employees to $18 an hour by 2026. 

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