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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Examining The Evidence: The Impact of the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance on Workers and Businesses


This study represents the most definitive analysis of a living wage lawís impact on workers and employers. It provides important new insights on the effects of living wage policies, which have been adopted by more than 120 local governments around the country. The studyís findings are based on three original random-sample surveys of workers and firms. Random sampling techniques ensure that survey findings are representative of the entire population being studied. The surveys include:

• A survey of 320 workers affected by the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance, conducted after the pay increase had taken place. This is the first such survey ever completed.

• A survey of 82 firms affected by the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance.

• A control group survey of non-living wage firms in similar industries, which provides a baseline for comparison in order to isolate the impacts of the living wage.

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