Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Minimum Facts in AFL-CIO Minimum Wage Push

Unions in California are busy playing politics this season. In addition to labor’s push against paycheck protection, the AFL-CIO has been particularly outspoken in supportingand funding–a San Jose referendum that would increase the city’s minimum wage to $10 per hour. (The campaign even appears to be headquartered at the offices of the AFL-CIO’s South Bay Labor Council.)

Proponents claim that it improves the lives of low wage employees. But a new report from University of Kentucky economist Aaron Yelowitz explains what has happened in San Francisco since the city voted for a similar proposal in 2003: Teen unemployment has risen, and their hours worked have fallen. It’s not a surprising result, given that 85 percent of the most credible economic studies on the subject find that job loss does occur after a wage hike.

Don’t tell that to activists in San Jose, who have set aside real research and chosen to rely on Big Labor’s think tank for their “analysis and expertise.”

Of course, EcPI and labor unions will continue to perpetuate the myths of wage floors beyond November 6. Be sure to check for a fact-based response to all of them.

Categories: Center for Union FactsUnion Math