Raising NY minimum wage would benefit college students

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to raise New York’s minimum wage by $1.50 per hour would be beneficial to working college students.

Some students employed by Syracuse University or local businesses earn the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. College students enrolled in full class schedules are often left with little time to work to earn an income. At the same time, students have many expenses, including groceries, specific course supplies and textbooks, while also paying bills, rents and loans.

Some students also need to drive to and from SU each day or travel for university-related tasks or assignments, therefore adding the cost of fuel as another expense for many.

Increasing the minimum wage to $8.75 will be helpful for many students who struggle to finance collegiate life because they endure these costs and have limited available hours for employment.

The proposed increase would also be beneficial for students in other areas of the state, like New York City, where the cost of living is higher than the cost in Syracuse.

Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly speaker, said New York is falling behind many other states concerning minimum wage. Eighteen states, including several geographically close to New York, have higher minimum wages.

This fact is worrisome, as during the past five years the minimum wage has only increased by 10 cents, while other costs relevant to college students, including rent and tuition, have continued to rise.

Though an increase in the minimum wage is beneficial, it is equally important that college students do not lose their jobs if employers cut positions to cover the costs of rising wages.

Ideally, this pay raise will aid working students and encourage them to spend locally to benefit the regional economy.


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