In San Jose, higher minimum wage had modest impact on diners’ tabs, none on jobs

Berkeley researchers found no employment losses as a result of San Jose's minimum wage boost. (iStock photo.)

Increasing the minimum wage in San Jose led to modest price increases at local restaurants as consumers absorbed the increase of about 15 cents to a $10 meal tab, according to a new brief from UC Berkeley researchers at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

The report was issued today, as protests on the “Fight for $15” minimum wage front took place across the country.

The IRLE researchers examined the aftermath of a 2013 hike in San Jose’s minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour, zeroing in on restaurants because they employ more low-wage workers than any other industry. In addition to their finding on diners absorbing slight increases in costs, they also found no reduction in employment.

Earlier this month, voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington passed large minimum wage increases – to $12 an hour and higher. These states join California, New York, Oregon and eight large cities in the United States that are increasing their minimum wages to $15, or close to it.

Read the full press release about the research here.

The policy brief about San Jose's minimum wage is online.