SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Thousands of people who work in San Jose who earn minimum wage thought they would be getting a raise on January 1st. But a lower Consumer Price Index means their wages will stay at $10.30 an hour next year.
Emma Sanchez is among those earning minimum wage in San Jose. When asked how she tries to make ends meet, Sanchez said, “Stretch it out. It’s really hard.”READ MORE: Mistrial In Manslaughter Case Against Danville Deputy Andrew Hall Over Laudemer Arboleda Killing; Guilty Verdict On Gun Assault
The mother of four said she is sometimes unable to pay her bills. “It’s loans, extra hours extra shifts,” Sanchez said. “You know, pulling ends here and there to do what you got to do just to make ends meet.”
San Jose voters passed an ordinance two years ago that allows for a jump in minimum wage if the Consumer Price Index goes up. But in the last 12 months, the CPI went down, because gas prices took a drop in August.
Although Sanchez lives in one of the most expensive cities in the country, the CPI is a U.S. city average.
“It’s not fair,” Sanchez said. “It’s getting harder and harder and minimum wage is not going to cut it anymore.”READ MORE: Legendary Comedian, Political Satirist Mort Sahl Dies At 94 In Mill Valley
Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “The mechanical operation of the existing ordinance is not helping.”
Liccardo said he wants to see an increase in minimum wage throughout Santa Clara County.
“There’s no question that the minimum wage at its current level is not enough to enable anyone to survive in this valley,” the mayor told KPIX 5.
For thousands like Sanchez, every penny counts when you’re making minimum wage. She said any increase in pay would help.
“It would help. It would extremely help not only me as a single mother but a lot of people it would help,” Sanchez said.MORE NEWS: Lake Tahoe Boat Inspectors Find Record Number Of Vessels With Invasive Mussels
This is the first time since the ordinance was passed that the minimum wage has not gone up.