Report prepared for the Seattle Income Inequality Advisory Committee,
Michael Reich- UC Berkeley Professor of Economics and Director, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley
Ken Jacobs- UC Berkeley, Chair, Center for Labor Research and Education, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Annette Bernhardt- UC Berkeley Visiting Professor of Sociology and Visiting Researcher, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
Paul Sonn, Brennan Center: The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. Our mission is to develop and implement an innovative, nonpartisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.
David Card and Alan B. Krueger- Department of Economics, Princeton University Princeton, NJ; Published in The American Economic Review, Vol. 84, No. 4. (Sep., 1994), pp. 772-793.
by Micheal Reich and Ken Jacobs
“In the face of congressional inaction, the debate on raising the minimum wage is moving to the local level. As more cities and counties consider setting their own wage standards, they can learn from the policy experiments already underway.
Since the mid-1980s, states in every region of the country have raised the local minimum wage, often numerous times. Twenty-one states (and Washington, D.C.) currently have wage floors above the federal level ($7.25), and 11 of these raise them every year to account for inflation. Washington State currently has the highest, at $9.32; California’s is set to increase to $10 on July 1, 2016.
More than 120 cities and counties have adopted living wage laws that set pay standards, many of them in the $12 to $15 range. These higher standards usually apply only to employees of city service contractors, like security guards, landscapers and janitors. In some cities, living wage laws cover workers at publicly owned airports or stadiums, as well as at shopping malls subsidized by local development funds. While the impact on the individual workers covered under these laws is often quite significant, their reach is rarely broad enough to affect the local low-wage labor market as a whole.”