By Krista Savage, For The Miami Student
Ohio recently increased its minimum wage from $7.95 to $8.10 an hour. The increase has the potential increase the number of applicants for on-campus jobs.
“I think the minimum wage increase will be good for student employment, possibly drawing in more applicants,” first-year student Alessia Saul said. “A lot of college students have at least some expenses, so it’ll help them out.”
Many on-campus jobs offer a convenient, stable income for college students, and the increased wages contribute to that stability.
First-year student, Abby Younce, said she is pursuing a job on campus for the spring semester.
“College students, in general, will be much more interested in applying for jobs now that minimum wage is higher,” Younce said.
She said she was already considering an on-campus job before the wages were raised.
“The new wages are an added bonus,” Younce said.
Theresa Murphy, head supervisor of student employment, expressed her anticipation regarding the rise of applicants. She and her team oversee all of the student applicantions through the Office of Student Employment.
“I certainly hope that more students will apply for jobs,” Murphy said.
Since the changes bring Ohio’s minimum wage up 15 cents to $8.10, the culinary services at Miami have changed their wages accordingly. Already more than minimum wage, the dining services were paying student employees $8.35 an hour last semester. Now, they are offering $8.50 an hour, rising 15 cents to match the rest of the state.
For many students who already have jobs on campus, the minimum wage increase will help, too. Sophmore Imani Harris is a student employee at Maple Street Station. For her, this job includes working at Delish, Americas and Encounter.
“I know that a lot of students, including myself, are paying for college out of pocket,” Harris said. “The increase in wages will help put a little more money in our pockets that can go toward tuition and books.”
Among the many reasons students want to earn more money, some are saving for trips abroad. First-year Christina Haffey works in the intramural office, as well as a zero waste ambassador. As a zero waste ambassador, she works home sports games to promote recycling and composition of trash.
“I’m working so that I can save up money to study abroad next J-Term in Costa Rica,” Haffey said.
This New Year brought higher minimum wages for more states than just Ohio. For 21 states and the District of Columbia, 2015 brought higher wages, as well.
In fact, for a lot of students on campus, the minimum wage in Ohio is significantly different than the wages of their home state. First-year Tyler Miles explained that, even though the wages have risen, they still do not match the pay in his hometown of Chicago.
“I think students should be more apt to take the jobs since they raised the minimum wage in Ohio,” Miles said, “but coming from Illinois it is actually lower.”
This may be due to a number of factors, like the cost of living, which is significantly lower in Ohio than in many other states.
“The minimum wage [in Chicago] is $8.25, but even then, I have always been paid $8.50 to $9,” Miles said.
Other states, including California, Oregon and Washington also have a higher minimum wage compared to Ohio, at around $9.50. However, states such as Wyoming and Georgia set their minimum wages at $5.15 per hour.
Overall, a lot of students on Miami’s campus are looking forward to the increase, those both currently employed and seeking job opportunities.