Boosting Workers is a Big Boost for the Economy

Boosting Workers is a Big Boost for the Economy

By Steve Smith

The “chicken little” crowd of corporate CEOs and their lobbyists keeps saying anything California does to boost working people is a “job killer.” Unfortunately for them, the facts tell a very different story. Look no further than the latest unemployment figures, showing yet another drop to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since 2007.

California is the most pro-worker state in the country. We just raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We’re combatting against wage theft. We support stronger unions. We tackle retirement security head on. We protect immigrant workers from exploitation. The Chamber of Commerce’s nightmare is for everyone else the California Dream.

California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:

Today’s news that California’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since 2007, definitively shows that the state’s economy continues to grow despite ‘chicken little’ claims from corporate CEOs who say you can’t help working people and create jobs.

Over the last six years, California put some of the strongest worker protections in history on the books. During that time, our state’s unemployment rate fell by a whopping 7 percent. At every turn, big business touted laws that boost workers as ‘job killers.’ Yet the evidence shows that when you raise wages, combat wage theft, protect immigrant workers from exploitation and break down barriers that prevent workers from standing together in a union, the economy rises.

While today’s news is heartening, much more needs to be done. Too many workers are still living on the margins. CEOs and their lobbyists continue efforts to chip away at economic security for working people through the use of forced arbitration agreements, unreliable, on-call scheduling and other abuses that make earning a decent living more difficult.

California is a model for the rest of the country. Now isn’t the time to shrink from our responsibility to strengthen the lives of working people. It’s time to step on the gas by doing more of what we know works.

So there you have it. As it turns out, boosting workers is a boost for the economy too. Of course, that’s what we’ve been saying all along.