Living Wages

Living Wages

Living wage policies have been established in cities, counties, school districts, states and other public agencies throughout the country to lift workers out of poverty.  Most living wage laws set minimum wage and benefit standards for public contracts, subsidies and leaseholders on public land. Several are based upon a geographic zone. Today there are over 150 such laws in place.

Commentary

Living Wage has brought good competition to Los Angeles International Airport

L.A.'s Living Wage Ordinance Isn't a Job Killer

September 21, 2011
minimum wage photo

Crying Wolf Over Higher Wages in a Time of Need

December 09, 2010

Cry Wolf Quotes

Most troubling, though, is the fact that the least skilled employees are those who are being most hurt by this ordinance. Voters in other areas considering an increase in the minimum wage must consider these unintended consequences that end up hurting those who the law is supposed to help.

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Yelowitz, Aaron. Employment Policy Institute.
09/22/2005 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

As if New York's economy wasn't already stressed enough, there's a renewed push in the City Council for a local ‘living wage’ law that could hinder the city's economic renewal while reducing job opportunities for the very people it is supposed to help.

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McMahon, E.J. New York Post.
03/20/2002 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

These teenagers [that drop out of school to take the higher wage jobs] take jobs that would go to unskilled adults, making it harder for those adults to make the transition from welfare to work.

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N. Gregory Mankiw, The Boston Globe.
06/24/2001 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

This initiative will kill jobs in the city. It also undoes much of the progress of the past five years in making Detroit a friendlier place for business.

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Editorial, Crain’s Detroit Business.
11/09/1998 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

Related Laws and Rules

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Living Wage Policy Brief: Stephanie Luce

Living wage ordinances have helped thousands of workers and tiresome cry wolf claims are wrong.

Resources

Political Economy Research Institute is a think tank focused on a variety of subjects such as diverse financial regulation, living wages and environmental protection.

University of California-Berkeley Labor Center carries out research on labor and workplace-related issues.

The National Employment Law Project is an organization that promotes economically just public policy in the face of the prevailing trends of the law several decades.