The Numbers Behind Lift Up Oakland

Lift Up Oakland

A few weeks ago, our partners at Lift Up Oakland held a research briefing that was open to city staff, the media and the public. They presented research by UC Berkeley in support of their ballot initiative for raising the Oakland minimum wage from $8.00 to $12.25 with paid sick days.

According to the research:

  • More than one-quarter of all Oakland workers-up to 48,000 people-would directly or indirectly receive a wage increase if the measure passes, and roughly 56,700 would win paid sick days.
  • Between $115 million and $126 million in additional wages would be generated by the measure.
  • Passing such a measure would minimally increase operating costs by an estimated 0.2 to 0.3 percent for retail and 2.7 to 2.9% increase for restaurants.

“A citywide minimum wage can help make the economy more equitable without harming economic growth,” said Michael Reich, Director UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. “That’s more money in low-wage workers’ pockets for a healthier city and a healthier economy.”

“This research shows what Oaklanders already know: raising the minimum wage is going to lift up thousands of people,” said John Jones, Burger King Security Officer who currently makes $10 an hour. “It’s also going to lift our entire community because when poor low-income people make money, they spend it. They spend it on food and in local stores which gets our whole economy going.”

Additional findings include:

An increase to $12.25 will significantly impact Oakland’s workers of color:

  • Workers of color (Black, Hispanic, and Asian) make up between 57.8 to 66.4% of the total workforce in Oakland-but they represent between 74.7 and 82.6% of workers impacted by a minimum wage increase to $12.25.
  • 41.2 to 44.8% of workers impacted are Hispanic/Latino.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research specifically found that:

56,721 have no access to paid sick days (37%):

  • 38% of men and 35% of women do not have access to paid sick days
  • Workers of color have less access to paid sick days than white workers.
  • 52% of Hispanic workers do not have access to paid sick days
  • 33% of Black workers and 33% of Asian workers do not have access to paid sick days

Low-wage workers have significantly less access to paid sick days:

  • 68% of workers earning under $12.25/hr lack access to paid sick days.
  • Workers in accommodation and food service have significantly less access than all workers.

Learn more about the Lift Up Oakland initiative at an upcoming teach-in presented by East Oakland Building Healthy Communities and East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE).

Laboring on Labor Day – Then and Now: A retrospective of our movement and insightful day of music, art and activism!

Saturday, August 30
81st Ave Oakland Public Library Branch
10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

More details coming soon!

CATEGORIES: Blog, Economic Opportunity, Health Happens in Neighborhoods