President Biden has a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15, which could have implications for campus employment.
“As an economist, there’s some interesting spillover effects that could or could not happen,” Walter Ryley, an assistant teaching professor of economics, said.
“Economists say ‘oh, minimum wage in perfectly competitive labor market creates a surplus which creates economic efficiency and contributes to higher unemployment,’” he said.
But, will raising the minimum wage help or hurt the economy?
“We haven’t done it before, so we truly don’t know what would happen,” Ryley said.
The total effect of doubling someone’s wage would be day and night for a wage earner, he said.
“In general, I imagine they would be much happier, and I think it would be a great thing for solidarity in the world,” Ryley said. “It would feel good and give them the opportunity to buy better things, and maybe even better things like health insurance or something.”
Raising the minimum wage would apply to student employees on campus as well.
“Since our stipend is already a small amount it would allow us to do and afford more than we can right now,” Christina Morales, a residential advisor in Founders Hall, said.
RAs are restricted to work only 20 hours a week. While some other jobs are allowed to work up to 28 hours a week, passing that mark is a violation of Student Employment Services policies.
“Most students that work often get a second job off-campus,” Morales added.
It would also affect colleges that employ students through opportunities like work-studies.
Matthew Ausderan, student employment coordinator, said, “Raising the minimum wage from $8.80 to $15.00 would affect the majority of BGSU departments on both part-time student employment as well as full- and part-time regular employment."
He continued, "I suspect BGSU would respond with a variety of working groups and projects to determine what changes can/would be made in terms of the budget allocation for payroll, Federal Work Study, and so on. It’s important to keep in mind that such a change would affect off-campus employment as well.”
But an increase in the minimum wage would not affect application and hiring processes.
“Getting a job, whether on campus or off, good economy or bad, has always been and will always be a competitive process,” Ausderan said “While student employment could be affected by a change in the minimum wage, the application and hiring processes will remain as they exist now,” Ausderan said.
Students looking for a job on campus can browse options on Handshake.