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Whos a low-wage worker in California?

A new UC Berkeley Labor Center study defines low-wage workers as those earning less than two-thirds of the median full-time wage in California.

In 2017, this means workers making less than $14.35 per hour are considered low-wage workers. Californias minimum wage is $11 an hour for employers of 26 workers or more, and $10.50 for smaller employers. About 32 percent of California workers earned less than $14.35 an hour in 2017, which is about 4.9 million workers.

In 2019, the wage floor will rise to $12 an hour for larger employers and $11 for smaller employers. By 2022, it will grow to $15 an hour for larger employers and for smaller employers by 2023.

The study limited the analysis to California workers, ages 18-64, who were not self-employed.

Stagnant wages

Low-wage workers have not seen their earnings increase in California (after adjusting for inflation) while high-wage workers have seen their earnings rise sharply.

Low wage by industry

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By industries for 2016, with percentages rounded up:

Where the low-wage workers are

Worker profile

Note: Figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding

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