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Opinion: gas prices and young workers

In early July, California’s state minimum wage officially increased to $15 per hour. It couldn’t have come at a better time for young workers. Considering that, also in California, the price of gasoline is currently at a level average of $5.66 per gallonto July 28.

However, the question remains whether this is enough to cover the inflated costs of petrol and, if not, how can young people minimize the impact?

Estimates put California’s average cumulative driving distance at just over 45 miles per day, according to Research Gate. Doing some quick math, assuming an average of 24 mpg, the amount spent on gas per week would be around $77. For young people who have just entered the labor market, this represents 13% of the gross weekly wage at the new minimum wage working 40 hours a week.

The impact would be worse for those working part-time, especially students. It appears that minimum wage gains were effectively wiped out by inflation.

Young workers, namely student workers, must find a way to offset these cost increases until the price of gasoline returns to the normal range.

A person working full time should reach out to their co-workers and find those with the same schedule to start a carpool. The more people involved, the better. Individuals may be quick to dismiss the idea of ​​carpooling, but a four-person carpool could save up to $200 per month depending on driving distance.

Once someone introduces these types of savings to their colleagues, they may be able to inspire others to join them in saving. Not to mention the impact of reducing carbon emissions. Selecting a job can be an even more crucial decision for young workers.

Remote job postings are up more than 12%, according to CNBC, many of which do not require a college degree. In these times of rampant price increases, it would be beneficial to pursue remote positions to save money on a monthly budget. Even if it doesn’t allow interaction with colleagues on an interpersonal level, if considered a temporary position when fuel prices are high, it may be easier to accept.

The part-time working student faces unique challenges, as they are less likely to find a remote schedule for part-time work and will not work a consistent schedule conducive to carpooling with co-workers. Job picking is the best way to minimize the cost of fuel when prices are so high.

Students should look for part-time work within walking distance or, more likely, within cycling distance. The health benefits of switching to walking or cycling to work should be an added incentive for young people. For those who do not want to take the most active route to work, the best option would be to use public transport.

California is a national leader in public transportation, according to CalSTA, so there should be plenty of opportunities to use the bus or light rail to reach a destination within walking distance. Park and rides are another promising opportunity for a money-saving hybrid solution.

While there may be a stigma with public transit, he’s never been able to save as much as he does now.

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