YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The news that minimum wage workers are getting a big boost in their paychecks has been making headlines all summer.
Major retailers and fast food companies have raised employee wages to upwards of $15 an hour and more.
The news has been a relief to those working in the service industry. But with the rate of inflation, how much of that raise will be realized?
Just about everything costs more now. The rate of inflation right now is the highest it’s been in 20 years, according to MarketWatch.
Used cars, housing, gas, food and everyday necessities are costing more, which many analysts say cuts that hourly wage increase by at least 2% – and that number continues to rise.
The pace of inflation is showing signs of slowing down, as many predicted it would. According to the Associated Press, prices for U.S. consumers rose last month but at the slowest pace since February, a sign that Americans could gain some relief after four months of sharp increases that elevated inflation to its fastest pace in more than a decade.
The inflation problem has been laid at President Biden’s doorstep by Republicans in Congress. They point to the $1.9 trillion financial aid package last spring that included stimulus checks to most households and federal supplemental unemployment aid.
Still, many experts think the rate of inflation will even out and is fueled by the supply chain shortage. President Biden announced earlier this summer he is forming a task force to address supply issues in the U.S.
The new task force will be led by the secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture and Transportation to focus on parts of the economy where there is a mismatch between supply and demand.
In the meantime, there are many questions as to whether companies who raised their prices to offset that supply chain issue – and there have been plenty – will reduce them once things are up and running as they were before the pandemic. And if not, how much of a raise are workers really getting?