Minimum Wage Going Up

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

Minimum wage is increasing by 70-cents throughout the country. Kentucky made the change from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 in June, but the federal mandate begins tomorrow .

Taylor Hollows used to make minimum wage, but changed jobs because $5.15 an hour just wasn't enough.

"Everything's going up and it's getting more expensive to do anything," Hollows said.

Taylor is about to start his freshman year at Western Kentucky University and has been saving up.

"Every time I get a paycheck I put as much as I can away. My parents help out a whole lot. They're paying for my tuition, but I'm paying as much as I can to help them," Hollows said.

He said if he was still getting paid minimum wage, the 70-cent increase would have helped a little, but paying for college and moving out of his parents' house would have still been a struggle.

"It has to be especially for college students, everything is expensive and you have to make ends meet," Hollows explained.

Which is why most places in the area already pay more than minimum wage, even after the increase.

"To stay competitive with the market, we make sure we always are equal or greater than out competitors so we have good employees in the store," Target Team Leader Brian Wilson assured.

Wilson couldn't tell us exactly how much Target employees are paid.

"It's kind of a secretive process," he said.

We spoke with several businesses in Bowling Green that also pay more than $5.85 an hour, but the ones that pay just minimum wage typically employ teens and college students.

"The people who make $5.85 for the most part usually work there for spending money or extra," Hollows said.

Even though Taylor makes more money than most of his friends...

"I'm saving a lot of money by living in the dorms."

...he says he still has to budget his money.

Here are some figures for you to put things into prospective. If you work full- time at $5.85 an hour, you would make $12,168 a year before taxes.

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services says that's only about $2000 more than what's considered poverty for a single person.


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