News Column

Pay for Florida Workers Trails Cost of Living

September 4, 2013

Workers in Florida saw their wages fall behind the cost of living for the past decade, with the median hourly wage down 4.3 percent since 2000, according to a new study.

The study adjusted Florida wages for inflation, and showed businesses aren't increasing wages as quickly as they are increasing prices charged consumers. In other words, while wages are rising, prices are rising quicker. The RISEP study found that between 2000 and 2011, the median hourly wage in Florida dropped from about $14.50 to under $14, when measured in 2010 dollars. It also found black workers were three times more likely to earn less than white workers, while Hispanic workers were two times as likely to earn less than white workers.

The Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University reported the findings in its annual "State of Working Florida,'' released this week. The group is backed by a national nonprofit, the Economic Policy Institute, which is funded in part by labor unions. Local labor organizers are partnering with RISEP to promote the latest report.

Source: (c)2013 The Miami Herald Distributed by MCT Information Services

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