Low-Wage Work

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California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies

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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.

Laurel Lucia, Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

California health care minimum wage: New estimates for impacts on workers, patients, and the state budget

This brief analyzes the impact SB 525 is projected to have on workers, patients, and the state budget in the first year of the policy. It is an update of our June 2023 and April 2023 briefs, both of which analyzed preliminary versions of the bill.

Savannah Hunter, Sara Hinkley, Adriana Hernandez Castanedaand Enrique Lopezlira

Civil Service Vacancies in California: 2022–2023

We find that job vacancies in local government appear to be a widespread and significant problem for the public sector affecting a wide range of occupations across wage levels and educational requirements. We offer suggested policy solutions raised by subject matter experts and other reports and analyses on job vacancy challenges in local government.

Steve Viscelliand Eric Balcom

Ensuring the Supply of Agricultural Truck Drivers: What the State of California Can Do

This report is the first in-depth look at the labor market for agricultural truck drivers in California and the first study of this workforce anywhere in the U.S. in almost 30 years. It found that better efforts in recruiting and training drivers would ease turnover and improve job satisfaction, particularly for agricultural trucking, which is critical to California’s economy but can often be seasonal or require specialized equipment.

Savannah Hunter, Annette Gailliot, Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

California Union Membership and Coverage: 2023 Chartbook

Chartbook comparing California union membership and coverage from 2001-2002 and 2021-2022. Findings show that at least half of all of California’s 2.5 million union members are women and that the majority of all union workers are people of color. By contrast, 20 years ago the typical union member in California was a white man.

Laurel Lucia, Enrique Lopezlira, Ken Jacobsand Savannah Hunter

Proposed health care minimum wage increase: State costs would be offset by reduced reliance on the public safety net by health workers and their families

In this brief we estimate the new costs to the state resulting from SB 525 as well as the savings it would generate through reductions in safety net program enrollment of affected workers and their family members.

Savannah Hunter, Vivian Vázquez, Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

The state of working East Bay, 2015-2019

This report examines the state of work in the East Bay prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that even before the pandemic, when the economy was strong by conventional economic metrics and had recovered from the Great Recession, many East Bay workers were earning low wages, housing cost-burdened, and struggling to make ends meet, with workers of color in particular making wages too low to support themselves and their families.

Enrique Lopezliraand Ken Jacobs

Proposed health care minimum wage increase: What it would mean for workers, patients, and industry

This report shows that the proposed California Senate Bill No. 525 (SB 525), which would establish a new $25 per hour minimum wage for health care employees, has the potential to substantially improve conditions for low-wage health care workers that provide essential services to the state, ameliorate staffing shortages in the industry, and improve quality of care.