This article, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, discusses research that used natural experiments to measure downstream effects that are clearly caused by changes in family income. There is strong evidence of a causal effect of higher net income on child development, including math and reading test scores, educational attainment, birth weight, mental health, and health in adulthood.
March 29, 2021
The Labor Center welcomes new Low-Wage Work Program Director
April 15, 2021
The downstream benefits of higher incomes and wages
March 2, 2021
The Fast-Food Industry and COVID-19 in Los Angeles
February 18, 2021
Paid sick leave will help protect us in this pandemic
October 19, 2020
Labor Center research and Proposition 22
Research & Publications
A list of California city and county ordinances, proclamations, mayoral directives, and orders that expand labor standards for workers affected by the pandemic, such as paid sick leave, health care, worker retention/right of return, and policies that lift workers’ voices in firm, industry, and government responses to the pandemic.
The Labor Center is working to provide research on how California is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic; analysis of new policies, what they offer the state’s workers and businesses, and what is still needed; and curated lists of resources, information, and tools for workers and their advocates.
We are pleased to announce that Enrique Lopezlira has been selected as the new director of the Low-Wage Work Program, effective March 29, 2021.
Over the last decade, fast-food restaurants have proliferated in the United States, with the largest increase in Los Angeles County. Fast food is an integral part of the food sector in Los Angeles, comprising nearly 150,000 restaurant workers. This report investigates working conditions in fast food prior to the pandemic, profiles the industry’s demographics and cost to the public, and examines the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.
Resources on COVID-19
- April 6, 2021 COVID-19: Local Labor Standard Policies in California
- July 1, 2020 COVID-19: Resources on Federal and State Policy and Assistance
- October 21, 2020 Public Sector Impacts of the Great Recession and COVID-19
Ken Jacobs, the chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, told Insider in March that one of the main attacks from opponents of a minimum wage is that it could help large businesses at the expense of small businesses.
“Creating minimum health and safety standards and a fast-food council provides a way to address these industry-specific issues and improve conditions for the fast-food workforce in an industry that, because of the way it is structured is unlikely to do so outside of government regulation,” Jacobs said.
Jessie Hammerling, lead researcher for the Technology and Work Program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center, said it is wise to be cautious with assumptions about automation.
When the pandemic settled in, many drivers realized they had no safety net, as rides slowed to a trickle and they were made to appeal to the federal or state government for unemployment benefits, funds that gig companies don’t pay into. (By one estimate, Uber and Lyft saved more than $400 million in California alone over a five-year period by eschewing the payments.)