December 13, 2017 | 7:13 am
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Has your salary kept up with inflation?

When you take into consideration the year you were hired, ss your salary in 2015 greater than the cumulative inflation rate? Are you trying to save money or did you cut out unnecessary expenditures to keep up with inflation only to fall short or get behind? Try entering your salary into the consumer price index inflation calculator to see if you are keeping up with inflation. All you need to do is enter the year you were hired and this year, and the inflation calculator will show you the purchasing power of your salary today versus the initial year.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics also provides an easy to use inflation calculator, which multiplies your income by the change in costs of goods and services to show you how you have kept up with inflation. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics also maintains easy to access statistics of occupational wages by state, region or metropolitan area. Housing, transportation and food are the three most expensive categories in a family’s budget.

Looking at three occupations in 2008, 2010 and 2014, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported bank tellers earned $27,650, $23,110 and $25,710, respectively, while computer systems analysts and secondary teachers earned $70,120, $72,820 and $75,560 and $45,390, $55,900 and $62,870, respectively.

US_Earnings_per_year_inflation_adjusted_male_age_25_plus_historical_chart_2012

If you were a bank teller, your pay decreased $4,540 annually from 2008 to 2010, and in 2014, your pay was still $1,930 less annually than you earned in 2008. The good news is your pay is $2,610 more than it was in 2010 according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

As a computer systems analyst, your pay increased $2,700 annually from 2008 to 2010, and in 2014, your pay was $2,740 more annually than you earned in 2010 according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

As a secondary school teacher, you are now highly effective and your pay increased $10,510 annually from 2008 to 2010, and in 2014, your pay was $6,970 more annually than you earned in 2010 according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The consumer price index maintained by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is summarized into eight categories: food and beverages, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation, education and communication and other goods and services. Household disposable income is dependent on personal factors, such as age, medical conditions, number of family members, weather conditions and availability of goods and services. The consumer price index does not include tax on goods, bridge, tunnel, highway tolls, property taxes, income taxes and registration fees.

Randy Schnepf (2013) insists in his report prepared for Congress that the price of food is driven more by demand than the volatile agricultural commodity market. The consumer price index does not include lease payments, food stamp benefits, child support or free school lunches. The consumer price index is based on the average not the specific consumer. Your medical or transportation expenses, for example, may easily be different than the national average.

Droughts, International demand for food, population growth and the fear of inflation effects the retail price of food. In his report to Congress, Randy Schnepf describes U.S. food prices as until 2006. In 2007 and 2008, food prices increased 4 and 5.5 percent respectively. In 2008, the global recession led to stagnant wages, high unemployment and decreased purchasing power. The price of food is expected to remain stable with a 4 percent inflation rate annually.

In 2011, 9.6 percent of the average family’s disposable income was spent on food. In 2012, 12.9 percent of the family’s disposable income was spent on food. The largest expenditure in the family budget is almost invariably housing.

The Department of Agriculture attributes price increases to transportation energy costs rather than the price of the agricultural commodity or the effect of the draught on the annual crop yield. The volatile energy costs increased retail prices of goods and services and decreased your expenditures. Geographic location greatly effects the availability of goods and services. The availability of substitutes for a desired item effect the demand for the product.

The CPI for food is based solely on retail food prices. The changing agriculture economy is based on the best intentions of the farmers, the weather, food processors, policy makers and consumers. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research reports food insecurity is based on income and education levels. The National unemployment rate has decreased, but food insecurity had remained the same.

An 1 percent increase in unemployment was associated with a 0.5 percent in food insecurity. A 1 percent increase in inflation was associated with a 0.5 percent increase in food insecurity. An increase in the relative price of food was associated with a 0.6 percent increase in food insecurity.