Los Angeles Mayor Proposes $13.25 Hourly Minimum Wage

Sept 1 (Reuters) - The hourly minimum wage in California's most populous city would gradually increase to $13.25 from $9 under a proposal announced on Monday by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Los Angeles is the latest of dozens of U.S cities looking to adopt so-called living wage ordinances, with similar efforts recently in San Francisco and Seattle.

"I'm proposing to responsibly and gradually raise the minimum wage in L.A. to $13.25 because it's deplorable and bad for our economy to have one million Angelenos stuck in poverty, even when working full-time," Garcetti said in a statement.

The proposed wage hike would be phased in, starting at $10.25 in 2015 and moving to $13.25 by 2017, Garcetti said.

Members of the city's business community have spoken out against the measure in recent days, saying a wage hike could hurt small-business owners and nonprofits.

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President Gary Toebben told local media that he feared business owners would be unable to maintain their current levels of employment if forced to pay the proposed hourly rate.

The statewide hourly minimum wage rose earlier this month to $9 from $8 and is scheduled to climb to $10 next July.

California is one of 21 states with a higher minimum wage than the federal level of $7.25 an hour. (Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Peter Cooney)