This is a sponsored guest post.
Despite the country’s climbing economy and thriving job market, the average employee is still having trouble making ends meet. In fact, more than half of working Americans reported that they did not receive a salary increase in the last year.
While this trend doesn’t apply to top-level executives, who experienced a spike in their respective compensation packages, there are a few key factors that are contributing to this income slump.
1. Money is Not Trickling Down
The “trickle-down economics” ideology has been debunked in the past, but our current market is a clear representation of why this theory is ineffective. Those who are in the top percentage of earners are not distributing their income into the general economy. Instead, they are investing or saving their funds individually.
2. Wages Haven’t Caught Up With Inflation
For decades, national minimum wage has fallen behind the growing rate of inflation and cost of living. Comparatively, minimum wage should be at least $15 an hour. However, most of the states have a minimum wage that is below $8 an hour. Nationally, the benchmark is $7.25.
3. It is More Difficult for Older Generations to Get Ahead.
One of the best ways to get a salary increase is to switch jobs or obtain a job offer. But, this tactic is most likely to be used by younger employees between the ages of 18 to 27.
Leveraging a job offer during the salary negotiation process is typically more effective than simply asking for a raise based on increased responsibilities or skills. Switching jobs gives you a platform to ask for an average increase of 5 to 10 percent of your previous salary. However, older workers are less likely to be hired when competing with a younger person with similar skills. This dramatically affects their economic stability over time.
4. Consumer Debt is higher than Ever.
Carrying a balance on either a credit card, personal loan, or car payment has become part of the way of life for most Americans. In addition to the payments that are sucking away a large portion of the borrower’s paycheck every month, interest rates add up quickly. For the large percentage of Americans who have some sort of debt, it can be incredibly difficult to stay caught up on their monthly statements.
To get on top of their bills and expenses, many Americans look to short-term solutions like payday and title loans. For those who have a hard time resolving their debt, they might recur to auto title loans to reconcile their more immediate obligations. If used wisely, this method can be a powerful tool for handling debt. But, more and more working individuals don’t even make enough to cover a small emergency so they find themselves burrowing deeper and deeper into the debt cycle.
Even though the economy has grown exponentially since the global crash in 2008, raises are becoming less and less common. This causes career stagnation, and a potential loss of tens of thousands of dollars over the course of one’s career. All of these issues combine to create a job market that leaves little room for growth and advancement, including pay increases. This, as well as a thin benefits structure that is also getting scarcer, makes it difficult for average workers to build financial stability.