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

A poorly crafted ‘living wage’ plan could achieve the opposite of its well-intentioned social goals. It could result in fewer good-paying jobs in the city, and less opportunity at the entry level. It could drive up the cost of city programs, leaving fewer resources to help lower-income families.

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Editorial. San Francisco Chronicle.
11/11/1998 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

This proposal is just another death wish. It delivers to business a simple message: This is Detroit; it costs you more to do business here than anywhere else in Michigan. If you don't like it, leave.

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Editorial, Crain’s Detroit Business.
10/12/1998 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

This is bad news for cities. The living wage poses a big threat to their economic health, because the costs and restrictions it imposes on the private sector will destroy jobs —especially low-wage jobs — and send businesses fleeing to other locales.

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Malanga, Steven. New York Sun.
01/20/2003 | Full Details | Law(s): Living Wage

Any way you slice it, increasing the minimum wage in Michigan… is likely to make it more difficult for the working poor to find jobs. …those who most need the work will have a harder time finding it.

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Kersey, Paul. Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
08/29/2005 | Full Details | Law(s): Minimum 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.