When Less is More: Even as Wages Rise, Earning Power Drops

Charleston Gazette - When people think about their wages, annual salaries and expenses it's not always easy to compare current costs to past costs and figure out just what has changed financially. Read

The minimum wage, created in 1938, has gone up over the years. But if wage increases are calculated using inflation rates, those increases are often quite small or even non-existent.

"Wages are certainly one indicator of how people are doing. "But inflation is something that also should be taken into account when you are trying to understand the context of those wages and how they relate to the costs of living – the costs of things like shelter, food and retail goods," said Jennifer Shand, director of Marshall University's Center for Business and Economic Research.

"Changes in price levels and in what things cost have an impact on wages. That will determine whether folks are doing better than average or not."

Legislation creating the federal minimum wage was passed in 1938, during the New Deal under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

© 2018 West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy