The mayor of Los Angeles has proposed increasing the minimum wage to $13.25 an hour in the city, and requested an analysis of the potential impact an increase would have on workers and businesses. Researchers from UC Berkeley’s Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics produced a report and concluded that more than a half a million workers in the city would get a raise (those earning minimum wage and those earning below the proposed minimum wage).
The report provides a demographic profile on these low-wage workers. They comprise 37 percent of those earning wages in the private sector; 39 percent of women and 35 percent of men. The vast majority—83 percent—are persons of color.
Despite the widespread belief that most low-wage workers are teens earning extra spending money while attending school, in Los Angeles few of them are teens; 38 percent of low wage workers are in their twenties, nearly 22 percent are in their thirties, and 37 percent are over forty. The majority work full time, and 36 percent have children.