Aug 30, 2022 - Economy

For job searchers, $20 per hour is the new $15

Share of Indeed job searches mentioning <span style="color: #ff714e; ">$15</span> or&nbsp<span style="color: #835bff; ">$20</span>
Data: Indeed; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

More job searchers are looking for work that pays $20 an hour, surpassing searches for $15 an hour, according to data released Monday by job search platform Indeed.

Why it matters: It's a sign of how inflation and a labor shortage pushed up wages faster than anyone could have imagined a decade ago, when Fight for $15, a union-led push to organize fast-food workers, was founded.

Case in point: In California, fast-food workers could soon start earning as much as $22 an hour, after a bill meant to improve conditions in the industry passed the state's Senate on Monday. The bill is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk — but he hasn't said whether he'll sign it, the NYT reports.

  • Meanwhile: Back in May, Chipotle workers protested in New York City, demanding a $20 per hour wage. Now, Democratic state lawmakers and activists are pushing to raise the state's minimum wage to $20 from its current $15.

What's next: "We're trying to encourage the original states and cities that moved to $15 to consider a higher [wage]," Mary Kay Henry, the president of Service Employees International Union, which backs Fight for $15, told Axios earlier this year.

  • Fight for $15 is also still pushing for a $15 minimum wage in many states. Since the group's inception, 10 states have raised their minimum wage to $15 or are in the process of doing so, according to the group's tally.

The bottom line: Whether or not a $20 minimum wage becomes a thing, job searchers are increasingly expecting more than $15 per hour.

Go deeper