Do You Remember Your First Job Starting Wage?
People always talk about the good old days, so let's talk about how good the starting wage was from our first job.
Of course, times were different then - whether we are talking about the 50s, 70s, or the 90s. I understand that. But, I believe that looking back may help each of us appreciate where we are today.
The minimum wage in Colorado right now is $10.20 and it will be over $11 an hour when the calendar year changes. Even in today's world, that is not a bad starting wage for a high school kid trying to earn a few bucks to save up for a new car. And for the non-skilled labor force that is trying to support a family on minimum wage, I understand the struggle of a low wage, but I'm saying it's a lot better than it used to be.
My first job was at age 15, washing dishes for $2.45.In college, circa 1984 I had advanced to a whopping $3.35 an hour working the drive-thru.
Times certainly have changed, so we recently asked listeners to reflect on their first jobs and starting pay. Some of these starting wages are extremely low like 5 cents and 50 cents.
What's most striking to me is the ages at which most people started working, most commonly between age 15 and 17. Kids today have a lot more expenses than we did back in the day, so in many cases they absolutely have to come up with some sort of income. You've got the cell phone, the tablet, the X Box and all the video games.
On top of that, it seems to me like more kids are driving their own cars at age 16 than they used to, so there is stuff like gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. Of course, I come from a small town where a car was not necessarily required to get you to school, and that probably is affecting my perspective that more teenagers are driving today.
I am so thankful my parents made me get a job and start working when I was a sophomore in high school. I've been working non-stop ever since, and it's taught me to be responsible, independent, and purposeful.
I may not have made a huge wage when I started working, but I wear that $2.45 wage with pride and honor. And, once in a while I still like to think about the good old days.