California Restaurants Lay Off Workers as $20 Minimum Wage Arrives

2024-03-26 09:44:14

California restaurants are laying off workers ahead of a new $20-per-hour minimum wage law taking effect in the fast food industry in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As Breitbart News has reported, California is set to raise the minimum wage by 25 percent to $20 per hour, effective April 1, under a law, AB 1228, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in 2023.

The Journal reported:

California restaurants, particularly pizza joints, have outlined plans to cut hundreds of jobs in the months leading up to the April 1 wage mandate, according to state records. Other operators said they have halted hiring or are scaling back workers’ hours.

Proponents of the California law setting the new minimum food-worker wage and a state-appointed council overseeing it have said the measures would help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of local workers. Organized labor groups have said they hope to replicate the law in other states.

California had 726,600 people working in fast-food and other limited-service eateries in January, down 1.3% from last September, when the state backed a deal for the increased wages. Total private employment in the state declined 0.2% over that period, according to state figures.

Though economists have debated whether raising the minimum wage hurts or helps workers, one area where the negative effects are often most keenly felt is in the restaurant industry, where margins are typically small.

A wage hike by Seattle to $15 per hour was found in 2017 to have cost the city’s average low-skilled worker $1,500 per year after employers cut working hours, according to a study sponsored by the city. Many of the hardest-hit businesses by municipal hikes in minimum wage laws across the country have been in the restaurant industry.

California’s unemployment rate is the nation’s highest, reaching 5.3% in February, according to the latest jobs report.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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California Restaurants Lay Off Workers as $20 Minimum Wage Arrives


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