California Minimum Wage
In California, the overall minimum wage increased Jan. 1 from $14 to $15 for businesses with more than 26 employees and from $13 to $14 for businesses with less than 26 employees. This minimum wage increase makes California the highest minimum wage state in the U.S.
According to the Department of Industrial Relations, the new minimum wage will help sustain economic expansion, and there are some who seek to raise the overall minimum wage further. A new initiative called the Living Wage Act of 2022 seeks to raise it again in 2023 to $16, $17 in 2024 and $18 in 2025.
Alternative Protein Market
Research for meat protein alternatives is an expanding field. Based on ResearchandMarkets, a market research report store, the alternative meats market is expected to project $4.7 billion by 2027. One brand in particular is making waves, called Beyond Meat. On evaluation, the company has a capitalization of $4.3 billion. The company’s worth is continuing to grow. As of Jan. 22, the Beyond Meat stock increased by 13%, according to Forbes. Now, Beyond Meat has partnered with Kentucky Fried Chicken, Panda Express, Canada Pizza Hut and A&W to bring beef alternative, plant-based products to local fast food locations.
Panda Express will be testing new dishes, such as Mapo Tofu and String Beans, only at their location in Pasadena, until Jan. 26.
Newsom California Blueprint
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a 2022-23 proposal for California Jan. 10. The proposal is planned to support the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, to fight climate change, to help eliminate homelessness and to stop inequality. The Blueprint would allocate $2.7 billion toward vaccines, boosters, testing and medical personnel; $648 million toward firefighters and helicopters; $750 million toward farmers, residents and wildlife affected by droughts; and $2 billion toward mental health housing and service.