Minimum wage increases, students still left empty handed


Photo: Sierra Allen

Despite the rise of minimum wage over the years, many students still find it difficult to cover all of their monthly expenses. Adults and young people alike, are currently in minimum wage jobs across the country.

By Sierra Allen, Features Editor

On January 1, 2018, Ohio increased it’s minimum wage for non-tipped employees from $8.15 to $8.30. For workers who are tipped, their wage increased to $4.15 per hour. These increases are for employees who work for companies with gross annual receipts of $305, 000 per year.  For companies with gross receipts below $305,000, and for 14 and 15  year old workers, the minimum wage will be the federal rate of $7.25 per hour

However, many young adults feel that while this increase is a positive thing, it is still not enough. 

The United States inflation steadily increases, resulting in higher living costs for Americans everywhere. While some can open their pocket books wider, many students with minimum wage jobs come up penniless. states the United States inflation has increased from 2.1 to 2.7 percent in only the last 2 years. And in 2015 inflation was only at 0.7.

Fairmont Junior Brianna Hutchison feels that minimum wage is still not enough, considering all that teens and students need. 

“Minimum wage isn’t high enough because every month I come up short financially,” Hutchison said.

Hutchison stated how she relies on a $5 daily budget to spend from her bi-weekly paychecks. 

Although minimum wage was recently raised, many workers, including Hutchison didn’t notice the change they hoped to see.

“My paychecks haven’t made much of a difference from before and after the raise was put into place,” she said.

Hutchison is just one of many teens with high finances and a lack of funds to take care of monthly payments and all of the extra expenses that a teen may have. 

According to, teens between the ages of 16 and 17 spend on average $1200-$1500 a year. At this age, adolescents are spending around $700 a year on social activities and food combined.

Besides entertainment and food, many young adults have the additional expenses of driving school, a vehicle, monthly car insurance, rising gas costs, vehicle maintenance and other bills.

According to, gas prices skyrocketed to $3.80 per gallon in 2012 and dropped back down years later. However, gasoline prices have risen once again and are forcing Americans to pay the price is they wish to travel and commute daily.

Dan Beck, General manager of Grieve Hardware in Kettering, believes that instead of raising minimum wage, it should be lowered in order to encourage self improvement.

“Minimum wage should go down as an incentive for people to better themselves, and it’ll keep the cost of everything lower,” Beck said.

While raising minimum wage may benefit teens at first, Beck explains only higher living costs will result. He stated that minimum wage jobs should only push teens to pursue better careers.

“Minimum wage will basically just cover the bills, but you can’t better yourself,” Beck said. “It should help to motivate someone to get a higher paying job and get out of the minimum wage cycle.”

Besides Beck’s reasoning for improving one’s self, he does sympathize with students who need to work in order to pay their expenses and who also struggle with time management and stress due to working a great deal of hours each week. 

To compensate for minimum wage pay rates, Beck offers favorable work conditions, sometimes letting students do their homework while on the clock.

Beck has the strong belief that the problem here is not in the  amount of money, but in the extent of effort people put into their jobs.

“The problem with the world today is nobody has a drive to do anything, and that’s the issue, it’s society’s problem,” Beck said. “I don’t think you’re going to fix it by paying them more.”