Los Angeles is the most unaffordable city in the nation. Wages are low, rents are high, and income inequality is getting worse.
But according to a new independent report from the Economic Roundtable, raising the minimum wage to $15.25 will create $5.9 billion for LA’s economy, generate 46,400 new jobs, and increase state and local tax revenue by $414 million.
The report’s authors found that workers have lost a third of their purchasing power over the last 30 years. Compared to 1979, a minimum wage worker's dollar is worth only 68 cents today. That's not progress. With 238,000 LA residents working and living in poverty—and 729,000 barely scraping by—it's time to raise the wage and enforce that wage so working people can make it in LA.
It'll raise all ships.
Analysis shows that businesses in LA are resilient and many of the city’s low wage jobs are service jobs that are difficult to outsource or have high consumer demand. In these industries, Angelenos provide services to other Angelenos, but do not earn enough to make ends meet.
All businesses, including small ones, will benefit from the $5.9 billion that workers will put back into the local economy.
But these outcomes aren’t possible without a comprehensive approach that raises and enforces a $15.25 wage. Why is enforcement so important? Researchers say more than half of garment workers and one-third of janitorial, retail, and private household workers report minimum wage theft. What’s the point of raising the wage if employers don’t actually pay it?
The Economic Roundtable’s analysis helps prove what we know: a comprehensive plan to raise the wage will give a boost to Los Angeles and lift hard working families out of poverty.
Read the full report, and then ask your friends if they could use a slice of $5.9 billion.
Campaign to Raise the Wage, a coalition of organizations representing working men and women. 777 South Figueroa St.,Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA 90017 www.LARaiseTheWage.org