Wages Not Keeping Up With Cost of Living - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Wages Not Keeping Up With Cost of Living

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Study after study shows the middle class is being squeezed, mainly because wages are not keeping up with the cost of living.

According to Cityrating.com, the average person in Reno makes a little more than $42,000 a year.

That's $209 less than the statewide average and $5,000 less than the average U.S. worker.

"Wages are increasing compared to last March by about a half a percent. That's not much movement," said Cornerstone Retirement Founder, Chris Abts. "The feds report inflation is about 2%. I suspect it's more than that. If wages are barely inching up and inflation is significantly greater, people are falling behind to meet those basic needs."

What Abts said appears to check out.

In 2008, Channel 2 News took a grocery list with 20 items and bought the basics.

The total was $39.26. I took that same list and bought those items at the same store, same brands, to see how much food has gone up the past five years.

The total this time around groceries was $48.85, about $10 more than five years ago.

A gallon of 2% Model dairy milk was $3.83 in 2008. Now it's $4.63. A pack of Oscar Mayer weiners was a $1.50 in 2008. Now it's $2.48, almost a $1 increase. Mayonnaise and a dozen eggs went up as well.

In some cases, you are getting less for your dollar. For example, a 16.3 ounce jar of Skippy peanut butter was a $1.50 in 2008. Now a 15 ounce jar is $3.13.

Abts said in a typical year, the cost of living climbs about 3% a year.

He said at that rate, over a twenty year period, the average worker would need twice the income to meet that lifestyle.

You can watch the entire interview this weekend on my show Face the State. The show airs Saturday at 4:30am and 3:30pm and Sunday at 6:30am and 3:30pm.

Written by Chris Ciarlo

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