Fact Sheet: Estimated Impact of San Diego’s Proposed Minimum Wage Law

Press Coverage

The City of San Diego is considering a proposal to establish a citywide minimum wage. The proposed minimum wage would phase in over three years as follows: $9.75 on January 1, 2015; $10.50 on January 1, 2016; and $11.50 on January 1, 2017. Beginning in 2019, the city’s minimum wage would be adjusted annually to keep up with increases in the cost of living.

In the tables below we present estimates of the number of workers affected by the proposed law, the size of the wage gains for affected workers, and the demographic and job characteristics of affected workers. Our estimation method accounts for projected wage growth at the bottom of the wage distribution, interim increases in the state minimum wage, and projected employment growth. We use the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) to estimate the wage distribution and characteristics of individuals working in the city of San Diego. Because the ACS does not allow us to identify individuals who work in the city itself, we extrapolate from data for San Diego County, scaled to estimated employment in the city (the city’s employment represents 64.4 percent of county employment, according to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages). In Table 1, we give a high and low estimate to reflect differences in estimation methods; subsequent tables average across the two estimates. See our technical report for more detail on data and methods.

Table 1: Nominal and Constant Dollar Value of San Diego's Proposed Minimum Wage Increase
Table 2: Estimated Number of Workers Affected by San Diego's Proposed Minimum Wage Increase
Table 3: Estimated Pay Increases for Workers Affected by San Diego's Proposed Minimum Wage Law
Table 4: Demographic Characteristics of Workers Affected by San Diego's Proposed Minimum Wage Increase
Table 5: Job Characteristics of Workers Affected by San Diego's Proposed Minimum Wage Increase

About the Authors

Michael Reich is a professor at UC Berkeley and Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE). Ken Jacobs is Chair of the Center for Labor Research and Education (Labor Center) at IRLE. Annette Bernhardt is a visiting researcher at IRLE. Ian Perry is a policy analyst at the Labor Center.