Consumer prices rose 5.3 percent in August compared to the previous year, causing some anxiety as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Food prices at home increased by 3%, while food prices away from home (i.e. restaurants) increased by 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest release this week. Rents and energy prices both increased by roughly 9%.
One point of worry for employers and employees in the United States is that activists frequently exploit inflation data to support their campaign for a $15 minimum wage, or even a higher salary of $23 per hour, despite the fact that study shows such steep rises will destroy millions of jobs.
Remember, if we kept up with inflation, the minimum wage would be $23/hr right now. $15 is a good middle ground. #RaiseTheWagehttps://t.co/44l6Rqln0F
Despite the fact that inflation has risen dramatically in the last year, the so-called “The Fight for $15” is still not based on a consumer price index. If the 2009 federal minimum wage increase to $7.25 per hour were indexed to climb with inflation, it would equal $9.22 today, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data up to August 2021.
If the minimum wage were to be adjusted to the level in 1990, it would be $7.17 now. No matter how you slice it, these data don’t even come close to, let alone support, the $23 hourly rate proposed by the union-backed One Fair Wage.
Indeed, the $15 minimum wage goal that several states and municipalities have already enacted has no precedence in history. An organizing director for the Service Employees International Union’s Fight for $15 campaign joked about the absence of genuine analysis informing their main policy goal at one meeting, saying: “We decided that $10 was too low and $20 was too much, so we settled on $15.”
Unfortunately, these draconian minimum wage targets, which lack economic justification, will wreak havoc on firms and employees as they try to recover from the pandemic. According to the impartial Congressional Budget Office, the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which proposes a $15 minimum wage nationwide, may cost the country up to 2.7 million jobs. According to economists from Miami and Trinity Universities’ industry and state-level analyses, the hospitality and restaurant industries would bear the brunt of these effects. Increases above the $15 minimum wage would have an even bigger negative impact on employer costs, and could result in the loss of many more employment.
In 2022, how would the minimum wage be adjusted for inflation?
President Biden stated at his State of the Union address that bringing inflation under control was a primary goal, and he told businesses, “Not your wages, but your costs.” However, many firms across the country have not responded to current health or economic problems by decreasing salaries. And, in certain regions of the country, salaries are only going higher by law, as many municipal minimum wage legislation increase their rates in response to changes in the consumer price index (CPI). We present a projection of what businesses can expect during these difficult economic times, not an economic prognosis, so they can budget appropriately in the coming months and prepare for near-term (July 1) and future (January 1, 2023) necessary wage rate increases.
Running a business has been anything but simple during COVID-19. We’ve all heard about the “Great Resignation” and how it led to “wageflation” ( “According to Forbes, “a sudden, unexpected, and instantaneous surge in pay based on unique market conditions”). With the addition of inflation, some businesses may find themselves in an even more vulnerable position. Although the mid-year minimum wage increases (July 1, 2022) are still four months away, some jurisdictions have already announced their rates; the differences are notable and demonstrate the impact rising inflation can have on wages in jurisdictions that adjust their minimum wage in response to changes in the CPI.
The minimum wage in both the City of Santa Fe and the County of Santa Fe was CPI-adjusted from $12.32 to $12.95 per hour on March 1, 2022, an increase of just over 5%. The minimum wage in the District of Columbia will increase from $15.20 to $16.10 per hour on July 1, 2022, representing a nearly 6% increase. The greatest stated increase to date belongs to the City of Los Angeles, California, where the yearly adjusted minimum wage will rise from $15.00 to $16.04 per hour on July 1, 2022, a nearly 7% increase.
Factors that may impact why minimum wage CPI adjustments varies from one location to another range from the apparent to the obscure, and include, for example:
- The minimum pay rate prior to the change. The higher the existing minimum wage, the more likely there is to be a raise “Sticker Shock” is a rate that has been changed.
- The adjustment’s lookback period, as well as inflation throughout that time. There is a gap between the end of the lookback period and the start of the adjusted wage rate, but depending on how much time passes between these dates and how inflation performs in the interim, the rate bump could exceed inflation at the time the rate goes into effect or throughout the year it is in effect; of course, during the pre-adjustment period, the opposite could be true, with other items like food and consumer goods prices rising while the adjusted wage rate remains in effect; of course, during the pre-adjustment
- Whether CPI-U (Consumers) or CPI-W (Workers) is used in the adjustment (Workers). These are various inflation rates, which helps to explain why two cities with the same pre-adjustment minimum wage may have different adjusted rates.
- The adjustment’s working area. To be competitive, a smaller city can go beyond its borders and apply the CPI index to a much larger metropolis further away.
- Whether or not the law sets a limit on the annual rise. This could happen in general or by employing a different rate of inflation than the actual rate of inflation “whichever is less” standard (i.e., the rate of inflation or X percent, whichever is less).
Numerous further municipal mid-year rate adjustments will occur throughout California on July 1, 2022, so businesses should plan for a potential “wagequake” across the state. However, tremors may not be limited to the West Coast, as municipal minimum wage rates in the Midwest (Illinois) and the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland) will also alter. While concerns about near-term wage changes are primarily local, firms across the country should prepare for the potential that inflation does not moderate sufficiently through 2022, resulting in state-level rate increases on January 1, 2023. (or December 31, 2022, in New York). This could effect both exempt and non-exempt employees if it happens. States frequently add a multiplier to the minimum wage to determine the minimum salary required for the executive, administrative, or professional exemption to apply; a state-law inside sales exemption could face a similar minimum wage multiplication scenario. In addition, the state may annually increase the exemption’s minimum hourly rate for specified hourly professionals (or medical in California).
Although we don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future, we may forecast that things will become more difficult, just like wage and hour regulations.
What would be the minimum wage adjusted for inflation in Canada in 2021?
“In no Ontario municipality does $15 an hour give a livable wage,” the Star editorial board noted in November, with some firms, employees, and advocates claiming the increase is years late and won’t do anything to offset the province’s ever-increasing expenses of doing business.
According to the site’s definition, the living wage is computed based on the needs of a family of four with two parents working full-time throughout the year.
Cost of living: According to a Policy Alternatives research released the same year, the living wage in Charlottetown, PEI in 2020 was $19.30 per hour.
Cost of living: According to the McGill Tribune, campaigners have been lobbying the province to raise the minimum wage to $18 to help with living expenses. Increasing living costs, according to a coalition of anti-poverty advocates, might force employees deeper into poverty.
According to a research by the CRHA, an association that represents human resources professionals, Quebec will see record wage increases this year. According to the report, employers in Quebec might offer employees compensation rises of 2.9 percent on average in 2022, the greatest gain in a decade.
Minimum wage: $11.81 (as of October 1, 2021), with annual inflationary adjustments on October 1st.
Cost of living: Once New Brunswick raises its minimum pay in April, Saskatchewan will have the lowest minimum salary in the country.
According to a report released in March by the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry, one out of every four Regina children is currently living in poverty.
Minimum wage: $15.20 (as of April 1, 2021), plus an annual inflation adjustment on April 1st.
Cost of living: According to a 2019 assessment by the Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition, Whitehorse’s living wage was $19.07 per hour, owing to increases in the cost of living, child care, and transportation.
With inflation, what should the minimum salary be?
With the enactment of the New Deal’s National Industrial Recovery Act in 1933, the first federal minimum wage was established. The ultra-right Supreme Court of the time quickly declared it unconstitutional. In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for reelection on the promise of continuing to fight for a federal minimum wage. In contrast, the Republican platform that year did not explicitly call for one, but it did piously concede that individual states might establish minimum wages for women and children.
Roosevelt’s landslide victory so alarmed conservative Justice Owen Roberts that he reread the Constitution and discovered that the federal government does have the authority to set a minimum wage. In a 1937 minimum-wage dispute, he switched sides, paving the stage for the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938.
The minimum wage is fixed at 25 cents per hour under the Fair Labor Standards Act. That’s around $4.60 now, adjusted for inflation. This was a compromise with Southern senators: the original version of the law called for a minimum wage of 40 cents per hour, or about $7.37 in today’s dollars.
By 1945, the minimum wage had barely risen to 40 cents. It was nearly doubled when President Harry Truman signed a law in early 1950 boosting it to 75 cents, which is now about $8.25 after inflation.
It’s unclear what will happen next, but the odds are stacked against any big minimum-wage increases. The Senate parliamentarian determined that minimum-wage legislation could not be passed through the budget reconciliation process, which only requires 50 votes, and the Biden administration has declined to defy the parliamentarian’s decision. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has stated that the two versions would not be harmonized in a conference committee. Instead, the Senate bill will be passed by the House and sent to President Joe Biden for signature.
Democrats can now try to override a GOP filibuster with a stand-alone raise in regular order, but it would take all of the Democratic senators and ten Republicans, which is unlikely. They could also modify Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster, which appears to be a long shot.
For the time being, it looks that the federal government has abandoned America’s lowest-paid workers once again. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this isn’t a decision we’re making. We can choose to return to a different, fairer, and better country whenever we desire.
Will Increasing the minimum wage result in inflation?
As inflation reaches historic highs, lawmakers and analysts are debating the causes, which include pandemic-related shocks as well as government-imposed limitations and swings in consumer demand.
One New York Times writer remarked this week on Twitter that recent media headlines about inflation are “all hype.” “Policies like the $15 minimum wage” are blamed by “wealthy people.” Instead of being justified in her concern over fast rising prices for everyday items, she claims the recent coverage is “hysteria,” implying that inflation benefits lower-income people since “inflation helps borrowers, and that’s what the fuss is about…not milk prices.”
Minimum wage increases in the past have been shown to induce price increases, which disproportionately affect lower to middle-income persons who spend a bigger amount of their wages on inflation-affected commodities like groceries.
The snowball effect between minimum wage hikes, such as the $15 per hour now in place in numerous states and localities and proposed at the federal level this year, and price increases is documented in a report by Heritage Foundation fellow James Sherk. A $15 federal minimum wage, for example, represents a 107 percent increase over the current federal minimum pay of $7.25 per hour. Employers must adjust their business models to accommodate for the increased labor expenditure when governments enforce substantial minimum wage increases. In many circumstances, this necessitates firms raising consumer pricing to compensate for the higher cost of providing their goods or services. Sherk claims that this hurts minimum wage workers and lower-income consumers the most, because the costs of the products they buy have climbed as well, lowering their newly boosted salaries’ purchasing power.
According to one analysis of the existing minimum wage research, which mostly contains data on price effects from the United States, a 10% rise in the minimum wage raises prices by up to 0.3 percent.
According to one of the studies evaluated by the American Enterprise Institute, the same price boost might produce price rises of up to 2.7 percent in the southern United States, where living costs and earnings are much lower. Recent study also suggests that increased minimum wages have a greater inflationary impact on employers of minimum wage earners. A research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the United States Department of Agriculture indicated that raising the minimum wage more than doubled the price increase effect in fast-food restaurants, and much higher in lower-wage areas.
In addition, a Stanford University economist looked at the impact of price hikes by income level and discovered that while “Minimum wage workers come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and raising the minimum wage has the greatest impact on the poorest 20% of households.
Minimum wages encourage firms to raise prices to cover some of the additional pay bill, according to this analysis of previous findings. However, this comes at a price employers must be careful not to raise prices too much, as this will generate price-sensitive client demand. Employers are unable to raise prices if they believe that doing so will reduce demand and result in decreased revenues, which will not be sufficient to fund increases in employee wages. Employers are obliged to adjust costs in other ways if this happens, such as lowering other employee benefits, reducing scheduled hours, or laying off staff entirely.
Sherk claims that the price hike effect of rising minimum wages is combined with large job loss effects, implying that minimum wage people are more likely to lose their jobs or have their hours decreased as their cost of living rises. As a result, he believes that increasing minimum wages is an unproductive approach to provide benefits to low-wage workers due to inflationary and job-killing impacts.
Why should the minimum wage not be increased?
Since 2009, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has remained unchanged. Increasing it would increase most low-wage employees’ earnings and family income, pulling some families out of povertybut it would also cause other low-wage workers to lose their jobs, and their family income would fall.
The Budgetary Consequences of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (S. 53), which CBO evaluated in The Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, allows users to study the effects of policies that would raise the federal minimum wage. Users can also build their own policy options to see how different ways to increasing the minimum wage would influence earnings, employment, family income, and poverty.
In the United States, which state has the highest minimum wage?
The District of Columbia had the highest minimum wage in the United States as of January 1, 2022, at 15.2 dollars per hour. California was the next state to implement a state minimum wage of $15 per hour.
On an annual average basis, the CPI rises at the fastest pace since 1991
Following a 0.7 percent increase in 2020, the CPI increased by 3.4 percent on an annual average basis in 2021. This was the fastest growth rate since 1991 (+5.6%).
The annual average CPI climbed 2.4 percent in 2021, slightly faster than in 2020 (+1.3 percent) and slightly faster than in 2019 (+2.3 percent).
Seven of eight major CPI components up in 2021
Transportation prices (+7.2 percent) increased at the quickest rate among the eight major components. Clothing and footwear costs fell 0.3 percent in 2021, making it the only significant component to dip in the previous year.
Higher prices in all provinces and territorial capital cities
Prince Edward Island had the highest annual average price increase (+5.1%), followed by Nova Scotia (+4.1%). Saskatchewan (+2.6 percent) had the slowest price growth among the provinces.
Annual average prices rose the highest in Whitehorse (+3.3%), followed by Yellowknife (+2.2%), and the slowest in Iqaluit (+1.4%) among the territorial capital cities.
How do you figure out inflation adjusted earnings?
For instance, if your current annual income is $50,000 and the 12-month inflation rate is 2%, your adjusted salary would be $51,000 (50,000 1.02 = 51,000), resulting in a $1,000 CPI rise ($51,000 $50,000 = $1,000).
How do you ask for an inflation increase?
“The rate of inflation is increasing rapidly, and I’d like to talk to you about my existing wage and how we’re making sure that it stays equitable to compete in the current inflation rate,” Mustain suggests starting the conversation with your manager.
You might even bring up the inflation rate later in the meeting to bolster your case for more pay. Remember that your performance is the most essential argument in the conversation whenever you decide to bring it up.
Angelina Darrisaw, a career coach and founder and CEO of C-Suite Coach, advises, “Focus your conversation on the value you bring since that’s ultimately what will convince your employer to give you that wage boost.”
Consider the constraints of your employment and the objectives your supervisor set for you, then describe how you fulfilled or exceeded those objectives. Assume you’re a salesperson with a monthly goal of 30 sales. Make a big deal out of it if you’ve routinely made 35.