Hourly Pay Rates – Not a Zero Sum Game

With higher wages, companies are looking to attract more loyal and more dedicated employees who aren’t distracted by financial woes. It’s not a brand new idea. Henry Ford was ahead of his time when he raised his employees’ salary to $5 a day in 1914 (about $120 today)—and he drew more reliable and productive workers to his Ford production line immediately. – Laurie Kulikowski, The Street, April 15, 2015

Low-wage workers in manufacturing, logistics, and transportation are in a bind. So are their employers. Workers’ wages haven’t kept pace with the cost of living, so their standard of living has declined. Wage growth has trended down since a pre-1980’s high. One worker in a plant in rural Iowa exemplifies this: “What hasn’t changed much is Mr. Smith’s hourly wage, which is still about $16 an hour, the same as when he started 37 years ago. Had his wages kept up with inflation, he would be earning about $47 an hour,” reported Patricia Cohen of the New York Times on May 29, 2017.

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