Written by: Erin Martin, Staff Writer
When people consider minimum wage workers, they imagine teenagers working to earn their a little pocket money for their new shoes or for weekend pocket money. However, the truth is, 88 percent of the workers being paid this base rate of 7.25 are 20 years of age or older, and more than half of them are women.
Every so often, someone sparks conversation about the continuous struggle and debate for minimum wages to be raised. For workers in the state of Georgia in 2015, the current minimum wage is $7.25, and more than half of the states in the United States receive the same wage which is simply not enough to live on.
Even more, more than half of these low wage workers are full-time working adults.
People are faced with so many other issues in their lives, that the income they make is not sufficient for their lifestyle. They are often forced and trapped in a life to receive government assistance, or food stamps for groceries to make ends meet.
An average of 76 percent of college students are employed this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Services, and college students are included in the largest percentage of people that often fall short when it comes to making ends meet.
In 1984, the minimum wage was more than enough to support students. Now, those wages wouldn’t even cut the bill in half.
“The cost of living is expensive for the price of minimum wage. I work retail at the mall and my rent is $500, my car expenses are about $250, and I’m in school. It gets hard trying to manage all of those responsibilities at once.”
A June 2014 survey by Lake Research Partners found that more than 3 out of 5 small business owners support increasing the minimum wage to $10.10.
Think about the benefits mothers and children can receive in their household with an increase like this. Think about the college students that can truly benefit from higher wages, to cover tuition costs and everyday expenses.
Think about the families that can rise from the level of poverty they’re living on today; these same families can get off of financial assistance and adequately support the families they work so hard every day for.
The only way to help low wage workers is to increase their wages.