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Debating dueling data on the effect of a minimum wage hike on the LA economy




Fast food workers, healthcare workers and their supporters shout slogans at a rally and march to demand an increase of the minimum wage to 15USD per hour, in Los Angeles on December 4, 2014. The nationwide protest is expected to reach 190 US cities.
Fast food workers, healthcare workers and their supporters shout slogans at a rally and march to demand an increase of the minimum wage to 15USD per hour, in Los Angeles on December 4, 2014. The nationwide protest is expected to reach 190 US cities.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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Raising the minimum wage has been a hot topic of national debate in recent months, and now we’re getting a look at two separate studies on exactly how a minimum wage hike would affect the Los Angeles economy.

The L.A. City Council commissioned labor-friendly UC Berkeley to run a study that looked at the economic effects of raising minimum wage from $9 an hour to $13.25 an hour by 2017, and then to $15.25 an hour by 2019. However, because it was the second study of this kind done by a UC Berkeley team, the Chamber of Commerce decided to commission its own study on behalf of the local business community.

Some business leaders oppose the wage hike, saying it could lead to layoffs or increased costs for products and services. City Council’s Economic Development Committee will be holding meetings in the coming weeks to review the studies’ results.

What will the economic effects of a minimum wage hike be? How will Los Angeles residents interpret the results? Do you support or oppose the plan to raise minimum wage?

Guests: 

Chris Thornberg, principal at Beacon Economics. Author of report, “Cost-Benefit Analysis: Los Angeles Minimum Wage Proposal,” commissioned by the LA Chamber of Commerce

Dan Flaming, President of the Economic Roundtable and author of the report, “Los Angeles Rising: A City That Works for Everyone”