Dip in Minimum Wage Brings Down Income and Morale

Dip in Minimum Wage Brings Down Income and Morale

Photo from Picasa

Photo from Picasa

Another Sign of the Times

Just when you thought the economic news could not get much worse, news that Colorado will be dropping its minimum wage comes through. According to an Associated Press (See: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Colorados-minimum-wage-apf-3883743937.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=7&asset=&ccode=) story, the state will lower the minimum wage by 3 cents an hour this year. While this amount may seem insignificant, it takes a toll on the morale of lower paid workers, even if their bottom lines are not much lower. The change leaves workers to wonder if they will ever be able to afford any luxuries and if all of their hard work will ever get them ahead.

Why the Change?

In order to keep workers in line with inflation, Colorado and nine other states base their minimum wage around the cost of living. This method is meant shield lower paid workers from being unable to meet rising costs on necessities. Unfortunately, using this system also means that when the economy takes a dip the minimum wage falls with it too. The minimum wage in Colorado will now be $7.25 per hour, which is as low as it can go because it has now hit the federal minimum and cannot drop below that. This is small consolation for those whose already low wages will be going down. It can be tough enough knowing that you are already working for the lowest amount in the state, but for that amount to drop further can be hard on the self esteem, even if the decrease is only a few pennies per hour.

The Good News

Labor officials in the state are fairly confident that the majority of employers who pay minimum wage will continue to pay employees the previous amount. It makes sense that if some employers are maintaining wages for their employees others will follow suit. If an employer chooses to drop to the new minimum wage, he may risk losing workers to other jobs. Employers should be mindful of the fact that if they lower wages they may be unable to keep valued employees, and they will really only save a relatively small amount of money. While the wage difference is not overly significant to a worker’s end result, being forced to take a decrease can make an employee feel undervalued and create a rift between employees and employers.

Buying some Good Will

If an employer is willing and able to pay just a few cents more than his competitors it can certainly create a more harmonious workplace. Employees tend to feel valued and appreciated and are more likely to remain loyal to the company when they make a little more than others in the same field. The slightly higher wage can bring a sense of pride and cause workers to want to put in more effort. Particularly in today’s economy, no one wants to be out looking for a new job, so if an employee is relatively satisfied with her position she will likely stick around. Paying a little bit more can help keep employees around and keep them happy.

There is Help if You Need it

If you are one of the many who is working a minimum wage or part time job right now it can be tough to make ends meet. Sometimes unexpected costs come up before payday. In such a case it may be a good idea to look into a payday loan for some quick cash to get you through.

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