As a small business owner, I have been following the minimum wage debate closely. Currently the jobs I provide are not minimum wage, but if Todd Gloria's proposal passes, they will be.
It has always been my understanding that minimum wage is for low skilled jobs that any healthy person can do. Naturally, these jobs attract people who are new to the labor force, mainly young people still in school. Todd Gloria and David Alvarez are implying that many minimum wage earners are heads of households in order to gain support for the proposal.
I decided to look at the data from the Policy Institute here. The introduction to the Policy Brief includes a statement that really shocked me:
"U.S. Census data collects information only on total wages earned, not the hourly rate at which they are paid. So, for example, a worker earning $16 an hour but who only works 20 hours a week will earn the same total wages as a near-minimum wage worker earning $8 an hour who works 40 hours a week. The consequence is that it is likely the case that our analysis, as wellLooking at the data, I was able to determine that of the total 255,713 people in San Diego identified as "low wage earners", 17% have NOT completed high school, 23% have completed ONLY high school, and 30% have completed SOME college. These numbers add up to 70% of "low wage earners" who have not completed their education. This supports Jerry Sanders and the Chamber's idea that education is the key to a livable wage.
as others, over states the overall number of workers in this category..."
This study does not support the case for increasing the minimum wage to such a high level, and in fact, calls for more study.
As icing on the cake, I read in the U-T that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that San Diego workers make an average of 12% more per hour than people in the same position in other states.
Owner and Director, Visiting Angels of La Jolla