Next level? Hoosiers left $5.4 billion in earnings on the table last year

NE IN data confirm cost of living rising faster than Hoosiers’ wages

INDIANAPOLIS – New data confirm what Hoosiers families already know: the cost of living keeps rising, but Hoosiers’ wages haven’t kept up. What’s new, however, is just how much Indiana’s stagnant wage growth has cost Hoosier families. If Hoosiers had earned incomes growing at the national average last year, they would have pocketed $5.4 billion more in earnings.

From Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Editorial: Business-friendly state doing less for workers

“State and regional wage numbers confirm the bad news for those still working. Earnings growth nationally was 2.7 percent over the past decade, but Indiana wages grew at just 2.4 percent. Economist Morton Marcus, director emeritus of the Indiana Business Research Center, points out that Hoosiers overall would have earned an additional $5.4 billion last year if the state had matched the national growth in earnings.

“This is not the economic miracle Gov. Eric Holcomb and others describe – at least not for workers.

“A recent report from Northeast Indiana Works finds the 18 percent inflation rate over the past decade outpaced the region’s 16 percent growth in wages. Northeast Indiana workers recorded average annual earnings of just $48,064 in 2017, compared with $53,140 for Hoosiers overall. The gap between this region and the U.S. overall amounts to $15,058 a year.”

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody raised issue with Statehouse Republicans’ lack of urgency and action on an issue that impacts every Hoosier.

“Statehouse Republicans like to say they make data-driven decisions,” said Zody. “I can think of 5.4 billion data points on why it’s time to act on stagnating incomes. This is more than numbers on a spreadsheet for working Hoosiers. They feel it every time they stretch their paycheck to put groceries in the cupboard and gas in the tank. Statehouse Republicans can’t duck this forever.”

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