The Easterner

Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

Washington state residents are either celebrating or panicking as the new year brings on another minimum wage increase.

Minimum+wage+has+increased+to+%2411.50+an+hour+in+Washington.+Some+student+employees+are+making+more+money%2C+while+others+are+having+their+hours+being+cut%2C+resulting+in+less+money+per+paycheck+%7C+The+Easterner+Archives
Minimum wage has increased to $11.50 an hour in Washington. Some student employees are making more money, while others are having their hours being cut, resulting in less money per paycheck | The Easterner Archives

Minimum wage has increased to $11.50 an hour in Washington. Some student employees are making more money, while others are having their hours being cut, resulting in less money per paycheck | The Easterner Archives

Minimum wage has increased to $11.50 an hour in Washington. Some student employees are making more money, while others are having their hours being cut, resulting in less money per paycheck | The Easterner Archives

By Kaitlyn Engen, Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Washington state residents are either celebrating or panicking as the new year brings on another minimum wage increase.

Along with 17 other states, Washington is inching its way toward a $15.00 per hour standard. CNN reports that Washington’s minimum wage will bump up to $11.50 per hour, a 50 cent increase from last year.

This has brought on mixed reactions from Washingtonians, from business owners to minimum wage earners.

One side of the debate argues against the minimum wage increase. One might think that those in opposition to the increase comprise of only people who are not minimum wage earners, such as employers. Maddy Mahaffey, an EWU student employee in Tawanka, said this is not the case.

“Our hours got cut, so we’re making less money than we did before the minimum wage went up,” Mahaffey said.

Because of the wage increase, Mahaffey said, Tawanka experienced a 7 percent budget decrease, which had a substantial effect on Mahaffey’s weekly hours, dropping from 19 and a half to as low as 10 hours.

Calculated to this year’s wage, this cut equals a subtraction of $109.25 off of her weekly paycheck.

EWU lifeguard Khyler Howland, however, is a proponent of the increase. Howland said he has benefitted, especially since rent prices at Eagle Point Apartments have actually gone down since last year, when the minimum wage was lower.

“There is definitely a line to it,” said Howland. “[One must] take into effect the cost of living in the area.”

Jared Keffler, another EWU lifeguard who supports the minimum wage increase, said “Older people are having to resort to entry level jobs, which is causing a lot of people to rely on a living wage, which is minimum, and it’s just not possible.”

The New York Times reported that the average age of minimum wage workers in the US is 35, with 88 percent of minimum wage workers at least 20 years old and 50 percent at least 30 years old, not just young college students.

Some opinions lie in between, such as David Early, EWU Director of Recreation and Athletic Facilities, who was able to give an employer’s perspective.

“As a state employer, it certainly has a different effect on us than it would, say, a private or commercial employer,” Early said.

Given that much of the budget that a private employer would pay for (such as building costs) are funded by the state in a university setting, Early was optimistic about the fact that a higher minimum wage might make campus employment more attractive to college students.

“We might find ourselves with more student employees within a given pool to select from,” Early said.

For now, college students and faculty of EWU continue to ask the question, as put by Mahaffey, “Are we really making more money?”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

The Easterner reserves the right to edit or delete hate speech, inflammatory statements or vulgarities in comments. The Easterner also reserves the right to delete advertising from comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    Election Guide 2018

    The Easterner’s election recap

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    Police Beat: drugs, drinks, assault and e-cigs

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    Sexual assault policy faces reform

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    EWU honors veterans with library display

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    EWU students and organizations join together for Unity Day

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    Cheney Zip’s shooting update: Suspect being held at Spokane County Jail

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    Aspiring EWU entrepreneurs compete for $5,000

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    Wheatland Express: New holiday transportation options available for out-of-town students

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    EWU soccer player keeps cool during mid-air emergency

  • Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike

    News

    Police Beat: Minors in possession

Navigate Right
The independent, student-run news site of Eastern Washington University.
Students feel both positive and negative effects of minimum wage hike