Minimum wage: $13.25 per hour
Just outside the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles is Santa Monica, California with its beautiful beaches and Pacific Park amusement park. Not only is this a beautiful place to live, but it is a beautiful place to earn a living on minimum wage. On July 1, 2018, Santa Monica raised its lowest wage by $1.25 per hour to $13.25, and it plans to increase it to $14.25 in July 2019 and $15 in July 2020.
There are no other set increases in the foreseeable future. Starting July 1, 2022, Santa Monica will adjust its minimum wage each year based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for all Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Putting this into perspective requires looking at the cost-of-living index for the city. The average city in the U.S. has a 100 cost-of-living index, and Santa Monica carries a 367.9 cost-of-living index. That’s nearly four times the average in the U.S., and that will stretch those checks thin.