CBS’s Schlesinger: If You Account for Inflation, Wages Are Down 1.7% from Last Year

CBS News business reporter Jill Schlesinger said Sunday on  “Face The Nation” workers are making 1.7% less than they did a year ago.

Anchor John Dickerson said, “Wages are a part of this as well. We hear about labor shortages, and you see companies in the fast-food industry adding more not only to the paycheck but also benefits. How much are wages a part of this picture, and what do you think the durability of that is? Has that changed, or will they go back down again?”

Schlesinger said, “I think this is really an interesting question because, for so many years, it really felt like employers had the upper hand. Through the pandemic, because there was a lot of ability for people to stay home, people were really happy to collect the money and be safe, and that was smart, and now we have smaller companies specifically complaining they cannot find labor. Now a company like McDonald’s or a Starbucks or an Amazon, they can pay up. They have made gobs of money throughout the pandemic. No problem. I think the concern is around some of the smaller employers, the mom, and pop employers. They’re saying we cannot find people, and we can’t afford to pay these wages to compete with the big guys, and we’re feeling squeezed out. If you’re a worker, you’re feeling really good. But remember one thing, we have to look at prices. If prices are up by 5% and you only have a 3% increase, you’re losing. The Labor Department said if you look at the average wages right now, from a year ago, and you account for inflation, we actually are making 1.7% less than we did a year ago.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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