Michigan’s minimum wage increased this week to $8.15, and eventually will rise to $9.25, but not everyone is thrilled.
Tristen Wilhelm, who is a freshman at the college, thinks the increase could lead to inflation.
"I think it’s a bad idea overall, because my minimum wage job pays for everything I need right now," she said.
Working for $7.40 an hour at McDonald’s, she pays her phone bill, car insurance, gas, and still has spending money.
Wilhelm doesn’t think a minimum wage job is typically the sole income for a family.
She couldn’t deny that a raise would be nice, but she thinks that the cost will outweigh the benefits.
She says that a $10.10 raise — as proposed by a Michigan ballot initiative — would cause the prices of consumer products to rise.
The minimum wage issue wasn’t originally on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s agenda.
According to a Mlive.com reporter Melissa Anders, Republican lawmakers felt the wage increase was necessary to stop the petition drive to put a $10.10 increase on the ballot in November.
Snyder signed the law in May that will gradually increase the wage to $9.25.
"I commend my partners in the legislature for finding common ground on a bill that will help Michigan workers and protect our state’s growing economy," Snyder said.
The new minimum wage will be a 25 percent increase from the current $7.40. There also may be increases based on the cost of living starting in 2018.
Earlier this year in his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama asked Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, and promised all federal workers this amount. If this federal wage increase passes, all states would have to follow suit.
Obama also asked for an increase to the federal minimum wage in his 2013 address, however, the federal minimum has been at $7.25 since 2009.
In a poll taken by Denno Research of 600 people, 60.5 percent were in favor of the minimum wage increase, 30.5 percent opposed it, and 4 percent were undecided.
Michael Reich, director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, is in favor of the wage increase. His research is based in San Francisco, where there is a higher minimum wage in the city than in the state of California.
"Our studies show that the impact of these laws on workers’ wages (and access to health care) is strong and positive and that none of the dire predictions of employment loss have come to pass," Reich told the New York Times.
According to his research, higher wages increase standards, and in turn reduce employee turnover, which saves businesses money.
There also will be a price increase along with the wage increase, Reich says, but it will be most noticeable in restaurants where an 18 cents per dollar increase can be expected. Increases in other businesses such as retail will be unnoticed, mostly because retail pays their employees more than restaurants, Reich says.
Wendy Block, of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, disagrees.
"If Michigan increases the cost of entry-level workers, lower-skilled workers will see less job opportunities because employers will be forced to hire higher-skilled job applicants to fill multiple roles or cut jobs to absorb the cost associated with the increase," Block told the Battle Creek Enquirer.
The Michigan Restaurant Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business claim that the increase could cause layoffs and closings, but Snyder says that the increase is economically sound.