The San Mateo City Council will vote on the adoption of a $15 minimum wage ordinance at their July 18th, 2016 meeting. To understand the likely impact of a $15 minimum wage, we publish the following analysis of the impact of such a wage increase for San José. Authors Michael Reich, Claire Montialoux, Annette Bernhardt, Sylvia A. Allegretto, Sarah Thomason and Ken Jacobs of the UC Berkeley Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics wrote the policy brief at the request of the City of San José. The full policy brief is available from the UC Berkeley Labor Center.
Critics of minimum wage increases often cite factors that will reduce employment, such as automation or reduced sales, as firms raise prices to recoup their increased costs. Advocates often argue that better-paid workers are less likely to quit and will be more productive, and that a minimum wage increase positively affects jobs and economic output as workers can increase their consumer spending. Here we take into account all of these often competing factors to assess the net effects of the policy. Read more