How fair is the current minimum wage?


Minimum wage should be increased.

Katie McDermott, Staff Writer

When it comes to being a teenager, being able to pay for everything you not only want, but also need, can be one of the biggest challenges. Between the cost of minimum wage and the consistently increasing prices for gas and food, many teenagers have problems with their budget.

Whether teenagers have a job or not, it almost always feels like money is tight. As high schoolers are preparing for college and their future, they are trying to save as much money as possible and spend as little as they can to be in a comfortable place, but it is not as easy as it may seem. 

Many high schoolers and teenagers have a part time job where they make the minimum wage which is $15 an hour. I believe that between the prices of gas, food and college increasing, minimum wage should increase $2 to $17 per hour. 

I do understand that many people may believe that if anyone is getting a raise, it should not be teenagers that work part-time jobs, but it won’t only affect the teenagers. If the minimum wage increases to $17 then it would allow for teenagers to be more independent with their money, and their parents wouldn’t have to worry about paying for their gas or their food. It will save that much more money to go towards college or other future plans. 

While I do believe that the jobs that most teenagers have are not the most difficult and might be worth $15 an hour, it does not match up with the other increasing prices happening in the world. Even though the gas prices have started going down, they are still too high to be paid for by minimum wage because of how they skyrocketed over the past several months. The gas prices combined with the also increasing food prices has been causing teenagers to make more of a dent in their budget than they should have to.

Another reason why the minimum wage should be increased is because of the amount of money that goes into taxes. Since so many things are so expensive it is hard to work with just $15 an hour and then when you add on the taxes it is even less money to work with. 

If teenagers are working a five hour shift, then they will make a total of $75.00 after that one shift. For most people, a tank of gas can be between $50-$80. So, one shift for some people might only be one tank of gas. That also does not include the cost of food, which can be a big challenge for teenagers as they enjoy going out to eat with friends or even just grabbing something by themselves. If the minimum wage was $17, then that would be an extra $10 that teenagers would make after a five hour shift. 

Not only are prices of gas and food increasing, but a lot of these teenagers are trying to save up for college. College has gotten very expensive between attending the college and just being able to buy the books and resources they need for their classes. The average college student spends around $1,200 annually on textbooks. This is something that is completely out of teenagers’ control and would be slightly easier if the minimum wage increased. 

Overall, increasing the minimum wage to $17 would not only allow teenagers to be more independent with their money, but it would also help to save more money for college, gas, and other needs and wants of teenagers.