New UC Berkeley Labor Center Study Shows the Impact of Raising the Wage in California
Hint: raising the minimum wage is good for everyone
By Rachel Warino
Historic legislation to raise the wage in California to $15 an hour would be an economic boost to workers and California’s economy, according to a new study released by the UC Berkeley Labor Center. According to researchers, slowly hiking minimum wage to $15 would benefit 5.6 million Californians.
Other key findings from the study include:
- Some 96 percent of affected workers are in their 20s or older, and nearly three-quarters of the workers who will receive raises are in their 30s or older. Of all impacted workers, 37 percent are parents.
- On average, the workers’ wages account for half of their family income.
- An estimated 55 percent of affected workers are Latino, compared to 38 percent for the workforce as a whole.
- Retail workers account for 16 percent of affected workers and restaurant employees 15 percent.
For the millions of workers who will be affected, this increase would change their lives.
Damian Monroy, a minimum wage worker and student in Long Beach, CA on the struggle to make ends meet while also putting himself through school:
“There are many families and people working 2-3 jobs now. I’ve had to drop classes at school to be able to take on an extra job so I could afford to live. No one should have to choose between going to school and being able to pay the bills.”
Lisa Scott, a home care provider from El Dorado County on the heart wrenching decisions workers have to make when they are not paid a living wage:
“Thousands of caregivers like me care for seniors & people with disabilities, but struggle to provide for our own families. I have a grandson who is five years old and I’ve never met him. I struggle to pay the bills making minimum wage now. I have never been able to afford to buy a plane ticket to go see him. Raising the wage means I can save up for the first time to afford the trip.”