Spike in minimum wage could affect Biola student employment

Recent increases in minimum wage may affect student employment at Biola.

%7C+Infographic+by+Angelica+Abalos%2FTHE+CHIMES

| Infographic by Angelica Abalos/THE CHIMES

Monica Kochan, Writer

Infograhpic shows the increase and expected increase of minimum wage in California between 2013 and 2017. | Infographic by Angelica Abalos/THE CHIMES

 

Following President Obama’s unsuccessful attempt to raise minimum wage nationwide, state and city officials propose plans to raise minimum wage statewide, which could affect student employment at Biola.

Resistance in Congress blocked President Obama’s attempts to raise minimum wage across the nation, leaving  the decision up to individual states and cities.  Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, proposed a plan to incrementally raise minimum wage by $1.25 each year from 2014 to 2016 and by another $1.50 in 2017.  Garcetti considers $13.25 a comfortable stopping point that will aid workers without hindering the recovery of L.A.’s economy, according to an interview with KTLA.  

Although Garcetti’s proposal would only extend to Los Angeles, the law signed by Governor Jerry Brown raising minimum wage from $8 to $9 and eventually to $10 in 2016 will affect La Mirada.

POTENTIAL FOR DECREASE IN STUDENT JOBS

Many business leaders believe that the Los Angeles mayor’s proposal will create more problems in the economy. Some believe that the wage spike will lead to layoffs, a decrease in labor hours and price increases, according to an article in the L.A. Times.

Initially a statewide increase would not decrease student jobs, said Ron Mooradian, senior director of human resources. The statewide increase of $9 to $10 is not so substantial that they could not budget for this change without decreasing student jobs, but if La Mirada’s mayor followed suit, this change would cause a clear decrease in jobs.  Mooradian also stressed that Biola management does not cut student jobs cavalierly and would do their best to maintain student positions.

STUDENTS SENSE A CHANGE

The possibility of a minimum wage increase on a local level appeals to some students as a positive plan.

“I feel like if you increase minimum wage, you increase the standard of living,” said Iliana Morales, junior psychology major.

Morales also expressed that the increase would prove helpful after college to pay off loan debt.  

However, other students see a downside as well when considering wage increases. Richard Henriquez, a senior Spanish major, noted that along with increasing worker’s wages the price of goods will increase as well, which he has already observed.

“One of the things I’ve noticed with the increase so far, from $8 to $9, [is] that a lot of prices of things that used to be cheaper have gone up.  You can notice it at Eagle’s [Nest].  Stuff that was $1.75 is now $2.50, just because they have had to raise the wages of students who work there and also Bon Appetit's workers,” Henriquez said.

While Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposal to raise minimum wage applies only to the city of Los Angeles, the statewide increase impacts prices in La Mirada and Biola. Although this statewide increase contains positive and negative aspects, its existence affects prices, local jobs and student employment at Biola.

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