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Heads Up, Employers: Your New Hires Want $73,000 A Year

Wages have not kept up with inflation.


People are looking for higher wages.

The lowest wage Americans would accept for a job has gone up by about 5.7% from last year — to $72,873, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest labor market survey.

The data comes from the monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations, which uses a sample of about 1,000 people in the U.S. to gain data on economic issues, including inflation. One of its sub-surveys is the Labor Market Survey, which tracks how people are feeling about things like jobs, job transitions, and wages.

The report says that Americans' "average reservation wage," went from $68,954 in July 2021 to $72,873 in July 2022.

It does typically go up every year, the survey noted.

One dollar in July 2021 had the same purchasing power as $1.09 in July 2022, according to the Consumer Price Index's Inflation Calculator. Though inflation has begun to cool off, energy and food prices rose dramatically over the last several months, especially prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine – and subsequent chaos wreaked on energy markets.

And, wages have not kept up with inflation, according to the World Economic Forum.

Respondents also said they were less satisfied with their current wage compensation but happier with benefits-type packages.

The report also showed a persistent gender pay gap. For men, the reservation wage increased to $86,259, but for women, it declined to $59,543.

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