You Made How Much?! Michigan Tells Us Stories About First Jobs
Do you remember your first job? Do you remember how much money you made at it? Recently, we asked people in Michigan to tell us about their first jobs and how much money they made per hour when they began working as children or in their teens.
Many of them had similar stories such as doing corn detasseling, delivering newspapers, babysitting, or working at restaurants, but there were some more unique ones too.
Here are some of the responses we received
"I worked at Blue Ribbon Laundry in the office at $0.35 cents an hour in 1968. The next year went to the back to do the laundry and made $0.90 an hour" - Judy Heppler
"$0.45 per hour shelving books at the local library" - Bobette Hardie Dorre
"Throwing trash cans into a truck for $0.50/hr." - Jack A. Paulus
"I worked as a pinsetter at a local bowling alley for $5.00 a night ($0.60 cents an hour) You haven't lived until you are on the receiving end of a bowling ball. LOL" - David Nosek
"F. W. Woolworth in the Columbia Plaza in Battle Creek, making 65 cents an hour. I left to go to work at the lunch counter at S S Kresge for 80 cents an hour. This was between my Sophomore and Junior year in high school." - Shirley Erskine
"$1.35 an hour in 1966" - Jim Metzger
"$2.00 an hour in 1983 when I was 15, pressing clothes in an alteration shop, and on Saturdays they let me learn how to sell suits and ties!" - Michael Metzger
"Service Cashier at an auto dealer. $2.10/hr." - Dawn M B Church
"Nursing LPN @ Borgess Hospital in 1973, I earned $3.18 an hour" - Joan Champion
"GNC for $3.35 an hour" - Amanda Walker Nelson
"Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA - 1992 - $4.75/hr" - Billy Lampart
"Corn detasseling, $3.11 hr, I was 13 &14 years old, this was in 1983/84" - Michael D King
"Detasseling! I think I made $4.75/hr." - Rachel Eileen Baranski
"Corn detasseling at age 14 and I believe $6.15/hr." - Sherria VanSparrentak
"Babysitter making 50 cents an hour" - Cheryl Ann Carr
"Babysitting for $5 per hour! Needless to say, my rates went up since then!" - Sarah Malloy
"Papergirl for $200 per month. I used to sing.. "rain, snow, sleet or hail. The papers must prevail"..lol. We used ski Poles to walk up the hill during ice storms. On Christmas Eve we delivered at midnight. That way we did not have to get up Christmas morning." - Nikki Elsman Parsons
"1964 Cashier at Lucky Steer Steakhouse making $.95 per hour." - Alice Balcom Jogwe
"Busser at Bill Knapp’s (Portage Rd by the airport in Kalamazoo) for $2.51/hour plus tip out from the servers!" - Dan Moyle
"Kentucky Fried Chicken and I was paid $2.65/hr." - Kevin Bradley
"Subway $5.45 an hour" - Corrie Collins
"Subway for $6.25 per hour" - Nikki Elsman Parsons
"Cashier at the employee cafeteria at a Sears. Quit the $2.00 an hour job after saving enough to buy a new acoustic guitar." - Jodi Victor
It's hard to believe that at one point many of us could not wait to have a job and our own money. Would you have waited a few more years if you could do it again? Many of the skills we learned at these first jobs taught us skills we used moving forward as adults, laying a foundation for the careers ahead.
Thanks for sharing these stories with us. It is amazing to think back on what jobs used to pay when we first decided to get out in the workforce.
Let's keep those memories coming. Do you remember how much a gallon of gas cost when you started driving?