The Sky Never Fell: An analysis of the predictions and outcomes of the 2014 Raise LA Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance


In 2014, Los Angeles City Council passed the Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance, known as Raise LA, which raised wages for hotel workers. As part of the legislative process, Council commissioned three reports to study the potential impact of the wage increase, two of which — conducted by Blue Sky Consulting Group and Beacon Economics — largely predicted negative economic outcomes for the hotel industry, workers, and the broader city economy. Industry leaders and hotel owners echoed these predictions and claimed the economic consequences would be disastrous.

Analyzing the data today, it’s clear these claims did not materialize. LA’s hotel industry grew by every measure, either outperforming or on track with comparator markets in California and New York City.