As of January 1st, 2018, the Michigan hourly minimum wage rate increased from $8.90 to $9.25. This is the third and final annual increase under the effect of Michigan’s Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2014.
Many high schoolers work part time jobs in accompaniment to their school work. And a large percentage of these jobs pay minimum wage.
“I mean yeah, it’s great,” Pioneer student Hyun-Gang Jeong said, “but I don’t think it affects us high schooler’s as much as it would to full-time workers.” Jeong spends a couple hours each week mixing drinks for at Tatsu Sushi in Briarwood Mall. He is paid minimum wage.
“Most high schoolers, that I know of, work just two to three times a week, not for the sake of supporting their family but to get a little extra money in their pockets, so they don’t have to constantly be asking their parents for money for food or little accessories,” the senior says, “In this case, thirty cents, or even a one or two dollar difference in hourly wages doesn’t make a huge difference since kids aren’t really burning through their money.”
The debate for whether minimum wage increases are beneficial or harmful for worker health has been an everlasting topic between political and economic parties. Many “Fight for $15” supporters push for the bottom floor to be raised all the way to a $15 minimum wage. On the other hand, many believe than such increases in the minimum wage will only lead to inflation in the economy. This, in turn, results in greater rates of unemployment.