- New research from economists at University of California, Berkeley examining minimum wage increases in the state show that a $15 minimum wage (set to be in place in CA by 2023) will likely have little effect on jobs.
- Critics of minimum wage increases to $15 say that any gains in wage will be canceled out by increased prices at businesses and automation. Berkeley economists say that while that may occur, increased worker productivity and purchasing power balance out any negative effects.
- The research was focused on Fresno County, a community that many assumed would see more negative effects from increases. In that county, 40% of private sector workers would see a wage increase thanks to many jobs being in retail, restaurants and health services.
The debate over the minimum wage isn't slowing down in the new year even as pro-business minds prepare to take over the DOL and other aspects of the government. Automation is increasing, but if this study holds true, it may not have as strong of a negative effect on jobs as many fear. However, in this study, manufacturing was not a major aspect, and that is where a great deal of automation has taken place.
11.8 million Americans are set to see a wage increase this year thanks to 25 states and jurisdictions passing laws upping the minimum. That trend is set to continue.