Friday, May 27, 2005

When is Minimum wage minimum enough?

Minimum wage in Utah is $5.15/hr. which is also the national minimum wage. In Washington state the minimum is $7.35/hr. That means for every two employees I can afford to hire in my business in Washington I can hire 3 employees in Utah. Can a Washington employee produce 50% more than a Utah employee? Can they be 50% more valuable to my a minimum wage employee than one in Utah?

It's obvious they can't, I'm getting "screwed" in Washington!

But I'm getting just as "screwed" in Utah. If the minimum wage was even lower I could hire more people...and I would! Minimum wage jobs tend to be entry level jobs. Employment for those who don't have an education, a trade, or haven't completed their education. For most that we hire it is their first job. Minimum wage shouldn't be intended to be enough to keep someone out of poverty. It makes it very difficult for employer's to pay more than a person is worth just because the government has imposed an artifical minimum.

In Washington summer employment for High School and College kids is projected to be way down again this year. A recent newspaper article stated that only about 37% of them would be able to find summer jobs. Why, because at $7.35/hr. qualified people are sucking up those positions. Even for flipping burgers, would I rather have a high school kid or a 25 year old adult working for me?

Now I've had a chance to vent!! As an employer I find the high minimum wage is determental to me and to those entry level, unskilled workers who need a job.