Student workers feel effects of recent state minimum wage raise

As of Jan. 1 in the state of California, the minimum wage has increased from $9 to $10 an hour.

To the workers that fought for this increase, it may seem like a blessing; however, there are reasons others opposed it, saying that it will drive up costs in the economy. Regardless, the increased minimum wage will affect the economy some argue will be positive and some argue it will be negative.

Many students at California Baptist University hold jobs in positions with Provider Contract Food Service, the Recreation Center and other offices such as the Career Center and Academic Advising. Some students feel the raised minimum wage would help them.

“This increase will help me pay bills faster and save more money,” said Britney Ramos, junior business administration major who works in the School of Business office.

Ramos was not the only student worker who was thinking of using the increased income for financial reasons.

“I have to work in order to pay for tuition, so with this tuition increase for this year it will help me,” said Paolo Bilbao, senior applied theology major.

The financial situations that many people are in are a few of the reasons people wanted the increased minimum wage.

“Raising the minimum wage would increase family income for many low-wage workers, moving some of them out of poverty. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated and the income of those workers would fall substantially,” the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released in February 2014.

President Barack Obama also referenced an increase in federal minimum wage Jan. 20 during his final State of the Union address.

“Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages and to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.,” Obama said.“If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”

Ramos and Bilbao are only two such students who believe that the increased minimum wage will benefit them now. However, they both mentioned that they see possible negative affects it might have later on down the road.

“I think that will not last long because the economy will catch up to the minimum wage increase, which will result in higher taxes and costs of living overall,” Ramos said. “So basically, we won’t really feel or notice the increase.”

Bilbao added the increased minimum wage is only a short-term benefit with possible long-term negative effects.

“As minimum wage goes up there’s always going to be an increase in something,” Bilbao said. It’s kind of a balance. When you have an increase in minimum wage, there will be an increase in the cost of living, so basically it’s going to be the same thing.”

State officials are looking to propose ballot initiatives that would raise the minimum wage even further to $15, but the proposals are still being debated.

About Jesse Perez

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