Friday, February 21, 2014

Minimum wage talk concerns university officials: University Officials Fear College Students Will Learn The Demand For Labor Is a Downward Sloping Curve The Hard Way

The Herald Review reports on the real world of microeconomics:
Raising the minimum wage could cost Illinois' cash-strapped universities millions of dollars in added wages for their student workforce.

With lawmakers warning of tough budget times in the fiscal year beginning July 1, the proposal to bump the wage from its current level of $8.25 an hour to $10 or more an hour is raising red flags among university officials.

At Southern Illinois University, for example, President Glenn Poshard said an increase could cost his institution $3.2 million in additional wages at a time when the General Assembly may be considering further cuts in aid to higher education.

"We need an increase in funding in higher education," Poshard told members of a House appropriations panel Thursday. "We don't have any extra to run our university."

Similar scenarios are being played out in Normal, Charleston, Macomb and other university communities.

Illinois State University officials say the change could affect nearly 4,200 student workers currently earning the minimum wage at jobs ranging from campus food services to the student recreation center.

In all, the cost at ISU of an increase would be about $1.6 million, officials said.

Eastern Illinois University predicts an increase will cost about $940,000. And, because the university has committed to no tuition increase next year, a minimum wage hike likely would trigger a reduction in the number of student workers, said Derek Markley, chief of staff to President Bill Perry.
Check out the graph below: many who graduate from Columbia Journalism School have never seen this.