The Hidden Public Costs of Low-Wage Jobs in California

Carol Zabin, Arindrajit Dubeand Ken Jacobs

Press Coverage

Prepared for the National Economic Development and Law Center

A later version of this paper was published in The State of California Labor, 2004.

This report highlights the considerable number of working families in California’s public assistance programs, providing demographic and employment profiles of the families. The authors simulate various policy changes—including wage floors and universal employer-sponsored health insurance—and calculate the reductions in public assistance program costs flowing from the decreased reliance upon the programs. Finally, the authors survey policies and economic development strategies designed to alleviate the problem of low-wage employment.