SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- One in three Californians has a low-wage job with the number of low-paid workers still increasing, the San Francisco Bay Area's KCBS Radio reported Saturday.
A study from the University of California (UC) Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, or UC Berkeley Labor Center, found that an estimated 4.9 million people in California are earning low wages for less than 14.35 U.S. dollars an hour.
The UC Berkeley Labor Center defines low-wage workers as those earning less than two-thirds of the median full-time wage in California.
"The raw number (of low-wage jobs) is increasing, the proportion is remaining fairly flat, but as employment grows and population grows, there is more," said research and policy associate at the Labor Center Ian Perry, quoted by The Daily Californian, an independent UC Berkeley student-run newspaper.
Perry said low-wage jobs include such population groups as home care and restaurant employees.
He said the phenomenon of low-age jobs goes back to a couple decades, which seems likely to continue unless major changes take place.
Policy intervention is necessary to reverse the persistence of the rate of low-wage workers in California, he said.
He noted that it is right for California to pass a 15-dollar per hour minimum wage, which will be implemented in the 2020s.
"Our population is aging, and so no matter what happens, we're going to need more home care workers," who should get higher wages, Perry said.
Of these low-wage workers, Black women face the greatest income disparities within the UC system, according to a study of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.