The effect that California’s $15 minimum wage will have was just revealed — and it’s devastating

The effect that California’s $15 minimum wage will have was just revealed — and it’s devastating
A new study found that California's $15 minimum wage will have a devastating effect on its workforce, triggering the loss of more than 400,000 private-sector jobs. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

California’s plan to raise its statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour will have devastating effects on the Golden State, according to a new study.

What did the study find?

A new study from the Employment Policies Institute found that a $15 minimum wage in California could trigger the loss of more than 400,000 private-sector jobs, decimating California’s workforce. Even that estimate, the study warned, is “conservative.”

Which job markets will be hit the hardest? The study was unequivocal about that. “The job loss is not spread evenly. Slightly more than one-half of the job loss is projected to be in two industries: accommodation and food services, and retail trade,” the study found.

In addition, it was discovered that for every 10 percent the state increased the minimum wage, employment dropped by two percent, while low-income earners were hit the hardest.

What has California done about its minimum wage?

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last year signed a bill into law mandating the raise of the state’s minimum wage to $15 across the board by 2023.

The law bumped the state’s minimum wage of $10 to $10.50 this year and will bump it to $11 in 2018. After that, the minimum wage will increase by $1 each year until it reaches the full $15 by 2022. Businesses that employ 25 or less people will be given one extra year to comply.

After the $15 minimum is set, it will continue to rise with inflation.

The loss of jobs didn’t go unpredicted. Economists stated last year when the bill was signed into law that it could cost 5 to 10 percent of low-income, low-skilled workers their jobs.