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Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

San Jose Minimum Wage: A Year-Old Success Story

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This week marks the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the $10 minimum wage in San Jose. The success of this minimum wage increase has major implications for other cities, states, and the nation.

Measure D was created by San Jose State students and supported by the South Bay Labor Council, Sacred Heart Community Service, and United Way Silicon Valley. It was passed in November 2012 with the support of 60 percent of the electorate, and it was implemented 90 days later on March 11.

During the campaign, Measure D supporters said that a $2 increase in the minimum wage would provide more money to low-wage workers to buy food, clothing, and other essentials, which would also serve as a stimulus to the local economy. They argued that raising the minimum wage would not lead to an increase in the unemployment rate.

Opponents painted a doomsday scenario, saying that jobs would be cut and employee hours reduced. Mayor Chuck Reed, a leader of the opposition, called on voters to reject the minimum wage increase, stating that Measure D was the biggest threat to the plan to attract more retail stores downtown.

A year later, it is clear that raising San Jose’s minimum wage has been an incredible success. The data shows that under San Jose’s minimum wage, unemployment was reduced, the number of businesses grew, the number of minimum wage jobs expanded, average employee hours remained constant and the economy was stimulated.

• Category: Campaign, Notable • Tags: Patrick Quyo, Scott Myers-Lipton