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Why Minimum Wage Jobs Pay Their Employees Unfairly

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In the following piece of text, I will be explaining why minimum wage jobs pay their employees unfairly. My main arguments in this essay will be: the fact that it is incredibly difficult to live off of minimum wage, minimum wage jobs aren’t as simple as you may think, they are for the most part overworked and my counterargument will be the fact that the vast majority of people who work minimum wage jobs are teenagers thus they generally don’t have as many expenses to live.

In Prince Edward Island, the minimum wage rate is $11.55, with this, on average you would make around $1600 per month. Upon browsing through Kijiji, I discovered that the average monthly rent ranges anywhere from $675 per month all the way up to $1500 per month (Most of the apartments/rooms available on the lower end don’t include all of the extra utilities such as heat, lights, wifi, etc.). When leaving on your own, you are required to be able to support yourself entirely, this meaning that you have to cover food, transportation, rent, any damages that may come to either your vehicle or home, etc. Whenever I added all of these things together, my total came up to around $1300-2100 depending on what lifestyle you’d like to live. This however, does not include saving money, or any other expenses you may have besides the bare minimum which is where it gets difficult for people. As somebody who has lived on strictly a full time minimum wage job, I know just how difficult it can get. I lived in a ‘Low Income’ property and still had no money at almost any point because after paying rent, food, wifi, and my cell phone bill, it almost always left me with nothing.

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In my lifetime thus far, I have worked at five different minimum wage jobs and from what I understand, they’re nowhere near as simple as some of the careers I have seen some people take part it. I think this is a little bit ridiculous because minimum wage is supposed to be for more ‘entry level jobs’ when in reality, those entry level jobs are actually incredibly physically and mentally challenging.

Many people who work minimum wage jobs tend to overwork themselves in order to be able to afford a higher quality of life. Nobody wants to live a life that is of low quality whenever they can easily just find a second minimum wage job and do the both. However, as simple as that may seem, it can be extremely strenuous on a person. A lot of people who work overnights tend to do a full-time overnight position and an either full-time or part time day position at another job. Working 40 hours per week is exhausting enough, add another 15-40 hours and you’re going to find yourself losing a ton of sleep that you will never have time to catch up on.

Since minimum wage jobs are more or less considered entry level jobs, the vast majority of the employees under this section are teenagers (14-19) and for the most part, teenagers have less living expenses. They normally live with their parents, a lot of the time their parents still provide their food, they pay for where they’re staying, and sometimes they even cover their cell phone bill. However, there are a lot of teenagers who have been kicked out of their household thus they are forced to get into the workforce and start trying to do things for themselves and if they don’t, they’ll wind up homeless. “Young people who are homeless make up approximately 20 percent of the homeless population in Canada”.


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