Enrique
Lopezlira

Director, Low-Wage Work Program

elopezlira@berkeley.edu

Program Area

Low-Wage Work

About Enrique

Enrique Lopezlira is the director of the Low-Wage Work program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center. He is a labor economist, directing and conducting research on how policies affect working families, with a particular focus on how these policies impact racial and gender equity.

Dr. Lopezlira previously served as senior policy advisor for economic and employment policy at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), one of the largest Latinx civil rights organizations in the nation. He also served as deputy director for policy and research at Western Progress, a think tank advancing progressive policies and change in the eight states of the Rocky Mountain West.

He also brings experiences in advising various government agencies and testifying at the state and federal levels. He is often asked for his economic insights and analysis by English and Spanish media; he has appeared on CNN, CNN en Español, and Univision, and has been covered in Al Jazeera, Politico, and the Washington Post.

Dr. Lopezlira holds a doctorate in economics from Howard University. He also holds a master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Arizona State University.

    Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

    The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Arizona Construction Industry

    In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in Arizona. We find that 45% of families of construction workers in Arizona are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of over $700 million per year. By comparison, among all Arizona workers, 32% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Over one-third (36%) of construction workers lack health insurance, almost three times the rate for all workers in Arizona (13%).

    Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

    The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Georgia Construction Industry

    In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in Georgia. We find that 44% of families of construction workers in Georgia are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of approximately $400 million per year. By comparison, among all Georgia workers, 33% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Nearly half (49%) of construction workers lack health insurance, more than three times the rate for all workers in Georgia (15%).

    Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

    The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Michigan Construction Industry

    In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in Michigan. We find that 35% of families of construction workers in Michigan are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of almost half a billion dollars per year. By comparison, among all Michigan workers, 30% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Twenty percent of construction workers lack health insurance, almost three times the rate for all workers in Michigan (7%).

    Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

    The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Nevada Construction Industry

    In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in Nevada. We find that 42% of families of construction workers in Nevada are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of over a quarter of a billion dollars per year. By comparison, among all Nevada workers, 33% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Over one-third (35%) of construction workers lack health insurance, compared to 13% of all workers in Nevada.