This is the city with the highest minimum wage in America

This place has the highest minimum wage in America
This place has the highest minimum wage in America

At $14.44 an hour, Emeryville, California has the highest minimum wage in the country. Just two months ago it was $9.

Growing impatient with Washington's progress on the issue, cities like San Diego, Chicago and Los Angeles have passed measures to gradually raise the minimum wage past the $10 mark.

But Emeryville, a small city across the Bay from San Francisco, didn't wait. It cranked up salaries for its lowest earners by 60% overnight after an ordinance took effect on July 2.

"What meaning does a minimum wage have if it's not a living wage?" asked Emeryville Mayor Ruth Atkin. "We should have a living wage."

But Emeryville's small businesses are already feeling the pinch.

Business's with 55 employees or fewer went to $12.25 an hour in July and will scale up about a dollar an hour per year until 2019.

Chris Hillyard, owner of local coffee shop Farley's on 65th, says 90% of his 45 employees earn the minimum wage.

"We can only raise prices a certain percentage before we start to lose customers and then it's a negative overall impact," said Hillyard. "I know that any small independent business that was considering opening in Emeryville is probably going to have to consider if they are going to go forward with that."

Personal Finance


CNNMoney Sponsors