Low-Wage Work

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The Labor Center conducts a wide range of research on low-wage work in California and nationally. Our research focuses on documenting and understanding working conditions in low-wage industries, especially for women, immigrants, and workers of color. We also analyze policies to raise labor standards at the local, state, and national levels.

For an in-depth description of California’s low-wage workforce, see our Data Explorer.

View our Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances.

You can also visit our Black Worker project.

Minimum wage, living wage, and other labor standards studies.

Research on the societal and fiscal costs of low-wage work.

In-depth studies of labor markets and working conditions in low-wage industries.

Independent contracting, gig work, and employee misclassification

Research & Publications

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances

Across the country, cities and counties have become laboratories of policy innovation on labor standards. Before 2012, only five localities had minimum wage laws; currently, 56 counties and cities do. To help inform policymakers and other stakeholders, the UC Berkeley Labor Center is maintaining an up-to-date inventory of these laws, with details on wage levels, scheduled increases, and other law details, as well as links to the ordinances.

Press Coverage

Business Insider

Many drivers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash are earning well below minimum wage, even with tips, a new paper finds

In an analysis of 52,370 trips by 1,088 drivers in the Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay, and Seattle metros in January 2022, researchers at the UC Berkeley Labor Center and the Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics found drivers across six ride-hailing and delivery platforms often earned less than the local minimum wage, including with tips, after expenses like gas.

Program Contacts