Low-Wage Work

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

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Lance Compa

Failure to Deliver: Assessing Amazon’s Freedom of Association Policy under International Labor Standards

Amazon recently announced a new policy on freedom of association under international standards, saying it would comply with International Labor Organization and United Nations principles on union organizing and collective bargaining. This assessment shows that Amazon’s freedom of association policy, on its face, is non-compliant with international labor standards, and Amazon management’s conduct before and after issuing the policy continues to violate international standards.

UC Berkeley Labor Center

Low-Wage Work in California Data Explorer

The Low-Wage Work in California Data Explorer provides users with graphics, tables, research summaries, interactive visualizations, and downloadable data. Use this site to explore a wide range of data on California’s low-wage workers: numbers of workers, demographics, job quality, occupations, industries, economic security indicators, geography, and more.

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.

Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

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

In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in New Hampshire. We find that 22% of families of construction workers in New Hampshire are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of $48 million per year. Among all New Hampshire workers, 19% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Twenty-three percent of construction workers lack health insurance, almost three times the rate for all workers in New Hampshire (8%).

Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

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

In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in New Jersey. We find that 33% of families of construction workers in New Jersey are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of $325 million per year. By comparison, among all New Jersey workers, 26% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Thirty percent of construction workers lack health insurance, three times the rate for all workers in New Jersey (10%).

Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

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

In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in New York. We find that 41% of families of construction workers in New York are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of $2 billion per year. By comparison, among all New York workers, 33% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of construction workers lack health insurance, more than three times the rate for all workers in New York (7%).

Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

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

In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in Oregon. We find that 43% of families of construction workers in Oregon are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of $710 million per year. By comparison, among all Oregon workers, 37% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Twenty-two percent of construction workers lack health insurance, two and a half times the rate for all workers in Oregon (9%).

Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

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

In this research brief we provide estimates of safety net use among families of construction workers in Wisconsin. We find that 28% of families of construction workers in Wisconsin are enrolled in one or more safety net programs at a cost to the state and the federal government of $207 million per year. By comparison, among all Wisconsin workers, 26% have a family member enrolled in one or more safety net programs. Fifteen percent of construction workers lack health insurance, more than twice the rate for all workers in Wisconsin (7%).

Enrique Lopezlira, Nari Rheeand Ken Jacobs

Fact Sheet: Demographic and Job Characteristics of California’s Skilled Nursing Facilities Workforce

This fact sheet presents the characteristics of workers in California’s Skilled Nursing Facilities industry, as well as the characteristics of workers in the industry earning less than $20 per hour. It draws from the academic literature to discuss the impact of raising labor standards on quality care indicators.

Enrique Lopezlira, Kuochih Huang, Sarah Thomason, Annette Bernhardtand Ken Jacobs

California’s Labor Market in the Time of COVID-19: 2021 Chartbook

This data tool tracks the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers in California, and how the state is recovering from these effects. The pandemic left millions of Californians out of work, and while the economy has begun to recover in recent months, some workers continue to struggle. This resource will be updated periodically, as new data becomes available, to allow users to monitor the progress of labor markets in the state. Last updated February 1, 2022.

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.

Ken Jacobs, Kuochih Huang, Jenifer MacGillvaryand Enrique Lopezlira

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

In this paper we look at the use by construction workers and their families in the United States of five means-tested safety net programs. We find that 39% of families of construction workers are enrolled in one or more safety net program at a cost of almost $28 billion per year. In comparison, 31% of all workers have a family member enrolled in a safety net program. Three times as many construction workers as all workers lack health insurance (31% compared to 10%).