Oklahoma needs to raise their minimum wage

Oklahomas low minimum wage rate needs to be raised, too many adults are  in debt.

Oklahoma’s low minimum wage rate needs to be raised, too many adults are in debt.

Hailey Paddock, Memorial Staff Writer

Life can be costly at any age even when bills are one’s responsibility, as is the case for newly fledged adults. This is why Oklahoma needs to raise minimum wage by at least $2.75, this making the wage $10. While $10 per hour is still not much, it is a start of progression. The pay last rose in 2009, but it was only raised by $0.70, according to Oklaw.org

Imagine being one of the four out of five college students working part-time, as Huffpost stated, making federal minimum wage ($7.25) in Oklahoma. College alone has many expenses, not including bills and food, so only being able to work 19 hours with such a low pay rate can lead to serious financial problems.

Colorado’s minimum wage is $4.75 higher than Oklahoma and in Washington D.C. the minimum pay is $14.00 per hour, almost double Oklahoma’s wage. Furthermore the wage in Oklahoma can drop all the way to two dollars an hour for jobs not covered by federal minimum wage. 

If Oklahoma passes the raise, companies will need to learn how to afford to pay it. Any minimum wage workplace will need to learn to budget more to afford the pay. When it comes to McDonalds or any popular franchise, they have enough business coming in they could up their wage, without a state requirement.

Many teenagers and single parents working for minimum wage are struggling. As rent, cars and basic everyday needs go up in price. In 2017, apartment rent rose 2.22%, according to The Oklahoman. If Oklahoma raised the minimum wage this would help offset the increase in the cost of living.

Places like D.C. and Colorado are a lot more expensive to live in so these wages are adjusted for inflation, but Oklahoma hasn’t increased their wage since 2008 even though many costs have risen. When 20% of families, according to gao.gov, are struggling to afford to live making minimum wage, there certainly is a problem that needs to be fixed. Oklahoma leaders needs to realize this pressing importance and raise the wage. 


Contact Hailey Paddock at [email protected]