2023 might be the year that California businesses, especially small ones outside of the larger cities, wish they could skip. On top of a likely economic downturn, they have also been hit with higher employee costs, as another increase in the minimum wage arrived on Jan. 1.
The state minimum wage is now $15.50 per hour for all employers, up from $14 an hour for businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $15 an hour for the rest.
Of course the real minimum wage is zero, which is what many workers could find themselves earning in 2023, and beyond, since the effort to raise the hourly wage floor to $18 won’t die. Minimum-wage hikes are never without their victims.