Thursday, January 8, 2009

Imagine Sisyphus Happy

In a post back in December I looked at some IATSE history and road scales. Then I found Working Life by the Labor Research Association. Jonathan Tasini had a column about wages not keeping up with productivity or inflation. Since I already had a reference point for IATSE I thought I'd see how we have done.

1917 $45
2008 Adjusted for inflation $759.73
2008 $30hr or $1200wk is fairly typical

Considering where we started from, over all, pretty good.

1917 $45
1974 Adjusted for Inflation $173
1974 $280

Through the Depression, WWII and after, it looks like we were doing pretty well for ourselves. Beating inflation, getting ahead, buying homes, and educating our kids.

1974 $280 (from an hourly rate for a grip, $6.70 hr)
2008 Adjusted for inflation $1,227.34 or $30 an hour.

The last quarter century we've just been keeping even and stopped getting ahead.

But then if minimum wage had kept up with inflation from it's start in 1938 when it was .25, it would be only be $3.85. Oh wait. In NY State, it's $7.15.

It's a good thing we had cheap credit and jobs for our wives or we might have been in trouble.

1 comment:

Spot 2 said...

Yea, $30 is typical wage, but depends where you work, and what your contract is... Sadly, it seems like the average wage is diminishing now.