California Minimum Wage Increased from $9 to $10 Per Hour on January 1st

Since July 1, 2014, the minimum wage in California has been $9 per hour (up from $8 per hour effective January 1, 2008). But effective last Friday, January 1, 2016, the minimum wage increased to $10 per hour, an 11.1% increase for those earning the minimum wage.

The 2014 and 2016 increases were driven by legislation enacted on September 25, 2013.

The Federal minimum wage has stood at $7.25 since July 24, 2009. $7.25 in 2016 dollars equates to about $6.55 in 2009 dollars.

To learn more about California minimum wages, visit Federal minimum wage laws are at


However, if you are a California sheepherder (there must be one or two in Ventura County, right?), you have your own minimum monthly salary that increased from $1,600.34 effective July 1, 2014 to $1,777.98 effective January 1, 2016.

Why is there a separate minimum wage law for sheepherders in California? Well back in 2000 hearings were held by the Industrial Welfare Commission in which sheep ranchers lobbied for an exemption for general minimum wage rules for sheepherders. 

There are not many commercial sheep producers in California and it was estimated that only 300 to 400 sheepherders, mostly foreign nationals, existed in 2000 in an occupation that "remained largely unchanged over many centuries." Flocks range generally from 800 to 1000 sheep (that's way more than I need to count myself to sleep).

Long story short: Due to the unique nature of the job of sheepherder, it was deemed appropriate to apply a different minimum wage law for this particular profession.  Based on a 2,080 hour work year, a sheepherder's wage in 2016 translates to $10.26 per hour, slightly more than the average minimum wage worker. Not baa'd.

Looking for a job that perhaps earns more than the minimum wage? Don't be a sheep! Check out THIS LIST of over 300 employers in Ventura County and surrounding areas.