Labor Markets: Hundreds of employees at the University of California at Berkeley are getting schooled in basic economics, as the $15 minimum wage just cost them their jobs. Too bad liberal elites “fighting for $15” don’t get it.
A week after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s $15 minimum wage boost into law, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees announcing that 500 jobs were getting cut.
Coincidence? Not really.
Last year, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced plans to boost its minimum wage to $15 at the start of next school year, independent of the state law.Since UC Berkeley was already in financial trouble — it ran a $109 million deficit last year and is projecting a deficit of $150 million this year — number crunchers there had to have factored in the higher mandated wage when making their layoff decisions.
Those workers might want to have a chat with the folks at UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research, who just days before Brown signed the wage-hike bill released a study touting the minimum wage as a boon to low-income household breadwinners.
After that report came out, Ken Jacobs, chairman of the UC Berkeley center, told the Los Angeles Times, “This is a very big deal for low-wage workers in California, for their families and for their children.”
It is a big deal, as well, to those soon to be out of work UC Berkeley workers.