Survey: 22% lost jobs due to WeHo’s minimum wage hike

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Statistically valid survey results released this week show that 22 percent of hourly workers in WeHo were laid off from their former jobs because of the city’s higher minimum wage and paid time off mandates.

On Monday night, West Hollywood City Council will review data from two surveys they commissioned — one for employers, one for employees — in order to assess the progress and efficacy of the minimum wage ordinance they signed into law two years ago. 

Probolsky Research conducted the employee survey in person in late February, interviewing 214 hourly workers in West Hollywood on a variety of topics related to their jobs and how the ordinance has affected them. FM3 manned the employer survey over three weeks in March, speaking to 142 WeHo business owners, managers and executives who paid the business tax certificates. 

While one-quarter of employees said the ordinance had “no effect” on them, 22 percent said it cost them their former jobs, another 17 percent said their hours had been reduced and 14 percent said their workloads had increased. 

42 percent of employers said the ordinance had negatively affected them because they’d had to lay off employees or reduce their hours. Another 41 percent said they were short-staffed, and 38 percent said they’d had to reduce their hours of operation.

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Almost half of the employees weren’t even aware of the paid time off the ordinance grants them — 96 hours of compensated leave and 80 hours of uncompensated time per year.

More than one-third of the workers are making less than $19.08 per hour, with the vast majority making $22 per hour or less. Most don’t receive tips or commissions of any kind. 84 percent feel that what they make is not enough to survive on. 60 percent drive alone to their jobs. 

48 percent of employers don’t think WeHo is a good place to do business, and 45 percent believe the city is on the wrong track. Employees are much more optimistic, with 85 percent saying the city is headed in the right direction.

While 12 percent of employers want the city to slow or stop the continuous minimum wages increases, one in five chose homelessness as the top predicament they’d like the city to work on.

 

 

 

 

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Mike
Mike
1 month ago

48 percent of employers don’t think WeHo is a good place to do business,and 45 percent believe the city is on the wrong track. (It should have said: the Employees that were Not fired from their jobs: are much more optimistic,with 85 percent saying the city is headed in the right ! Well that’s until they get Fired,due to businesses closing !

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Minwage
Minwage
1 month ago

One would think customer service would get better w the higher min wage instead im seeing it get worse. Workers with attitudes now. Asking them for anything lately as a customer causes them to have attitudes. Its really getting sad.

John Smith
John Smith
1 month ago

Whatever the government makes more expensive, you’ll get less of it.

The most productive residents (who pay the majority of all taxes) are moving out.

These policies might get more D Party candidates elected, but the net result is a lower standard of living for all that remain.

Morty
Morty
1 month ago

60% of the workers said they drive alone to work. Do you ever hear politicians say they are going to lower the gas tax to help working people? $0.78 of every gallon of gas are taxes. If your gas tank holds 20 gallons of gas you pay almost $16.00 in gas taxes every time you fill up. If someone is a good employee they deserve to be paid more than $19.08/hour. The problem with these minimum wage laws is they benefit lousy lazy workers and hurt hard working people because businesses no longer have the extra cash to reward their… Read more »

WeHo in dowward spiral
WeHo in dowward spiral
1 month ago

Disastrous results for all involved. It ended up hurting the very people that it was suppose to help while at the same time hurting businesses. Didn’t see that coming 🙄 And to make matters worse…”48 percent of employers don’t think WeHo is a good place to do business, and 45 percent believe the city is on the wrong track.” The fact that it cost less to operate a business in Beverly Hills now than it does in the city of West Hollywood speaks volumes. How many more empty storefronts? The cost of living in West Hollywood (already high) has increased… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago

Not at all. People got paid more, we still have more job openings than people to fill (that is because even with the increased wages, most workers can’t afford to live anywhere near weho). Anyone who lost a job due to this increase should have easily found another unless they just did not try.

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

You just made that up. “We still have more job openings than people to fill…” Yep, sure, and “Glitter” was the most artistic, acclaimed film since “Crossroads.”

Shpper
Shpper
1 month ago

What businesses have been effected? I think Pavillions might have as I’ve noticed a lot less employees working each day.

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
1 month ago
Reply to  Shpper

A lot of restaurants do seem to have dumped busboys. Service definitely got a lot slower and it’s now reflected in reservations. Well done City Council members past and present who have little idea how to run a city.

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago
Reply to  Shpper

Pavilions is actively recruiting staff. If you notice less workers, and I don’t, it most likely is because even with higher wages many workers just can’t afford to live anywhere near weho and don’t want to commute.

Larry Block
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

Commuting to work is not unusual. Ask the nurses at Cedars, or look at the 85% of residents of WeHo who live here but choose to communte to their jobs outside of West Hollywood.

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago

I am not sure how statistically valid this survey is without more details, but anyone who lost their job due to a business cutting positions based on the new minimum wage should have easily found a new one. There are currently multiple businesses recruiting including the new key club. I personally know of 2 businesses hiring and willing to pay more than minimum wage. Openings are out there.

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

You just made that up. You going to live off a busboy gig at the new Key Club?

Neal Z
Neal Z
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

Kevin, I personally know the author of the survey, and his professional ethics in conducting these kinds of studies is beyond reproach. Adam Probolsky’s work is respected by people on both sides of the political aisle. I suspect that his scientific research is far superior to a couple of anecdotal blips you’ve cited

dave
dave
1 month ago

It is imperative that all whom have been affected by this show up at the city council April 15th meeting to voice their concerns. While I the minimum wage increase is acceptable the 96 hours of paid vacation is twice as high as any other municipality in California. The issue that nobody seems to address is these increases haven’t made West Hollywood any more affordable for the ones that receive the new benefits. I don’t or haven’t heard of any one employee or employer state they hav enow moved to West Hollywood. The issue is more about the true lack… Read more »

Outraged
Outraged
1 month ago
Reply to  dave

That’s because the greedy greedy landlords and landladies have a psychotic insatiable compulsive uncontrollable greed to hoard wealth to obscene levels that are unprecedented in history. If the city council would just pass reasonable but strict commercial and residential rent control, we could restore from annihilation the middle class, and raise the working class out of slavery and have a functioning city again, and the greedy greedy millionaire landlords will still be living like royalty, as they cry all the way to the bank.

John Ryan
John Ryan
1 month ago
Reply to  Outraged

exactly!

John Smith
John Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Outraged

That was tried in the Soviet Union. Pick up a history book.

C.R.
C.R.
1 month ago
Reply to  dave

The point of the minimum wage increase wasn’t about making living in West Hollywood more affordable, the problem is that all of Los Angeles County has become unaffordable so people can’t even reasonably commute to West Hollywood to work their minimum wage jobs. There were at least pockets elsewhere in the county that were still considered affordable for a single person to live, earning minimum wage working fulltime hours. Not anymore.

Larry Block
1 month ago
Reply to  C.R.

Yes. the nurses at Cedars say dont live in weho either…. they live in communities that are their choice. near their families, or friends, or people whom they chose to live next to. While WeHo might be more expensive then neighboring cities its a dot on the map and there are less expensive places Hollywood, LA, and all around WeHo. Its clear that cities with rent control have the highest rents and cities with highest minimum wages have the highest cost of living. Want a lower cost of living, lower the minimum wage which is meant for entry level positions,… Read more »

John Smith
John Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Bingo. But the tens of millions of migrants pouring in, are somehow going to survive on a minimum wage job?

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Exactly, Larry! Minimum wage jobs are intended to be transitional and no one is expected to be able to live alone on an entry level job. I worked minimum wage jobs from the age of 14 all the way through college and I never expected anything more because I wasn’t worth more than that to my employers. I was happy to have what I did because I knew that when I finished college I would be worth the big bucks. If life is too comfortable for someone making a low wage they may just decide to stay there rather than… Read more »

Morty
Morty
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Block

The problem is most politicians have never owned or run a business. They have no clue how most businesses even operate. How many people on the city council have any business experience? Our mayor has degrees in religion and women’s studies. Those are practically worthless degrees. If someone is valuable to their employer they are going to make more than $19.08/hour because otherwise they will most likely lose that employee. Forcing small businesses into higher wages and benefits for everyone only forces employers to choose who to keep and who to fire.

C. R.
C. R.
1 month ago
Reply to  Morty

Not every minimum wage job requires some sort of upselling or opportunity to stand out from coworkers, these are very robotic and routine jobs, so that takes away any opportunity to be more valuable to an employer.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  C.R.

LA County has several trade and tech schools where anyone can learn the skills to become marketable into high paying positions. Tuition to these schools are often on a sliding scale so that anyone can afford to get in.

C. R.
C. R.
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Every large city’s economy is propped up with minimum wage workers. The fact is that in your younger days, obviously many, many years ago, a minimum wage worker putting in full-time hours could afford to rent a one bedroom apartment somewhere considered reasonably geographically close enough to the minimum wage job they have. As I said, today in Los Angeles, countywide, that’s no longer possible for enough minimum wage workers to sustain the economy. Just tell me exactly and specifically where the full-time minimum wage workers of West Hollywood are supposed to live without raising the minimum wage.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  C. R.

I lived with my parents and then in my college dorm (paid for with student loans). There is no way I could have afforded even the cheapest of apartments on my wages during those years. That’s what I would expect today’s minimum wage workers to do; live with family or get a few roommates to split the cost. So there ya’ go, C. R. All of us do what we have to do to get by and eventually it pays off. There is little reason that anyone should have to make the minimum wage very long. The experience the worker… Read more »

C.R.
C.R.
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

You’re so utterly and ridiculously out of touch. Live with family? No family to live with for a whole lot of them. Get roommates? Who are these noble landlords in 2024 that are welcoming multiple people into the abundance of LA county apartments designed for one person who has to not only pay the exorbitant rent but put up first and last month right away with good credit and proof of income? So utterly utterly out of touch you always show yourself to be. These people can live in the imaginary apartments in your mind called fantasyland.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago
Reply to  C.R.

You may well be the most negative Nelly around!

There is always a way to make it, no matter the obstacles. Resourceful people manage to find it and they don’t complain or get caught up in self-pity.

The money to pay for these high minimum wages has to come from somewhere and it ends up trickling down to you and me, the consumers. Or, through the higher taxes we pay for the care of those who can’t find a job because businesses have closed or have cut back on staff due to the too-high minimum wage.

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