• Search
    Center on Policy Initiatives

How Have San Diego Jobs and Businesses Fared Through Recent California Minimum Wage Increases?

Job Growth

The number of jobs in San Diego County has risen steadily in the past five years, continuing a healthy upward climb through two minimum wage increases. Data from the California Employment Development Department shows that the total number of nonfarm jobs in San Diego County rose continually between early 2012 and March 2016, on a trajectory that didn’t change when the California minimum wage increased from $8 to $9 in July 2014 and again to $10 in January 2016. San Diego County employers have hired an additional 75,800 workers since the state minimum wage rose to $9 in 2014.

San Diego County Job Growth, 2010-2016

San Diego County Job Growth, 2010-2016
San Diego County Job Growth, 2010-2016 [1] [2]

Business Growth

Likewise, the number of businesses in the County has shot up while the state raised the minimum wage. In September 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the two-step minimum wage increase, so at that point business owners and entrepreneurs knew the wage floor would rise from $8 to $10 an hour by January 2016. The most recent data available shows that during the subsequent year, San Diego County added a net 4,671 new businesses. [3] The growth in business development was unimpeded by the knowledge of an upcoming minimum wage increase or by implementation of the increase in July 2014.

Business Growth: Number of Employers in San Diego County, 2010-2014

Business Growth: Number of Employers in San Diego County, 2010-2014
Business Growth: Number of Employers in San Diego County, 2010-2014 [3]

This San Diego experience shows that critical wage increases for workers are consistent with robust job creation and business growth. The overwhelming majority of rigorous economic studies nationally have documented the same experience in other states and cities where the minimum wage has increased, finding no significant negative impact on the number of jobs or hours worked, or the number of employers in business.

The impact of raising the minimum wage is one of the most researched topics in economics, with hundreds of studies published. While minimum wage increases have overwhelmingly positive impacts for working people, they also have proven to be beneficial or at worst neutral for businesses. Peter Brownell, PhD, is Research Director at the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego.

Sources

  1. California Employment Development Department, MSA Seasonally Adjusted Total Nonfarm Employment (http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/msa/sdiego.html)
  2. California Department of Industrial Relations, “History of California Minimum Wage” (https://www.dir.ca.gov/iwc/MinimumWageHistory.htm)
  3. California Employment Development Department. “Size of Business Data – 2005-Present.” (http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/LMID/Size_of_Business_Data.html). This data is based on payroll reports, so it does not include self-employed individuals with no employees.
Written by
CPI San Diego
View all articles
Written by CPI San Diego