I recently saw a post on Facebook from a friend who asked her father what his first wage was and what year that was in. She compared the wage to its inflation value today and what her father made then was significantly more than what a worker on minimum wage makes today. This got me thinking about how much money my parents made during their first job compared to what the current minimum wage as well as the living wage of the state and county in we resided respectfully.
I asked my parents, who hail from the Greater Pittsburgh Area, what their first wage was and what year. My mother in 1987 made roughly $4.57 an hour, while my father in 1984 made State and Federal Minimum Wage of $3.35 an hour.
As of 2018, Pennsylvania's Minimum Wage is still the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 an hour. In Allegheny County, where they lived, the living wage for a single adult is $10.92 an hour.
On top of making the equivalent of $0.77-2.75 more than someone making minimum wage today in Pennsylvania, they were a lot closer to making the living wage than many of the people on minimum wage are today.
Using an Inflation Calculator and comparing wages by state and county, what did your parents make in wages for their first jobs compared to today’s wages for workers. Are the results proving that with inflation, workers make less today that what generations before them did, or is it a state by state basis? Should wages be based on county statistics and set to the minimum living wage? What about the wages needed for families with children (the living wage for families with children changes depending on single or 2 adult families)?