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Los Angeles raises minimum wage to $15 per hour

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LOS ANGELES >> Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has signed into law a measure that will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

He called the law “a major victory for our city” at a signing on Saturday, and said the wage increases will enable working families to lift themselves out of poverty.

The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind.

Calls for raising the minimum wage have grown as the nation struggles with fallout from the recession, worsening income inequality, persistent poverty and the challenges of immigration and the global economy.

Los Angeles joins Seattle and San Francisco as large cities with phased-in minimum wage laws.

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