Los Angeles workers would receive $7.6 billion more a year in pay with a $15 minimum wage.
Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley multimillionaire and registered Republican who once ran for governor and, briefly, U.S. Senate, wants state voters to endorse the wage jump that he predicts would nourish the economy and lift low-paid workers from dependency on food stamps and other assistance bankrolled by taxpayers.
At least 13,000 Los Angeles city employees received a 5.5% raise Wednesday, the final piece of a salary agreement that became a major financial burden during the recent economic downturn. The pay hike means a majority of workers with the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which represents non-public-safety employees such as clerks, gardeners and mechanics, have received increases totaling 24.5% since 2007, according to city budget officials.
Calpers, as the fund is known, said it paid 130 employees and executives $7.7 million in bonuses last year, more than twice the $3.6 million in the previous year. Chief Investment Officer Joe Dear got $321,750 in addition to his half-million dollar base pay. Three investment officers were paid more than $200,000 each, according to data provided by the fund.
That figure made headlines last month after researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, reported that front-line workers at fast-food restaurants, and their families, receive at least $7 billion a year in public benefits to supplement their wages—typically, under $9 an hour. The authors described the amount as “”the public cost of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry.
Other researchers dispute that interpretation. They say the cost to the public would be higher without those jobs. And if fast-food restaurants raised their wages, that wouldn’t guarantee a corresponding decline in benefits: Some restaurants might automate functions and cut jobs, and some benefits remain available to workers making higher salaries.
This summary report provides statistics from the revised 2011 estimates for the employment of nearly 90,000 state and local governments in the United States. It shows statistics on the number of state and local government civilian employees and their gross payrolls for the month of March 2011. Statistics include government functions such as education, fire protection and police protection. Statistics are available for the nation and individual states.
This report provides statistics on revenues, expenditures, financial assets and membership information for public employee retirement systems. Statistics are shown for retirement systems at the national, state and local government level. This publication presents data on public pension systems based on information collected from the 2011 Annual Survey of Public Pensions: State- and Locally-Administered Defined Benefit Data.
. . . average weekly earnings, average hourly earnings, and average number of weekly hours — for production workers in the Manufacturing industries or nonsupervisory employees in the Motion picture and sound recording industries only.
Quarterly data of employment, wages, and number of firms by industry for the state and counties
. . . details the geography, growth patterns, and importance of high-tech jobs in the United States.