Making Less Money
From Nowy Dziennik

Analysis from the Economic Policy Institute recently reported that prices for services and products are growing at a faster rate than our salaries. The cause is still the fairly high rate of unemployment.

The Employment Statistics Bureau reported that the hourly wage of employees such as nurses and teachers has decreased when compared to inflation by 1.1 percent. Many recent Polish immigrants also have seen reductions in their earnings. In particular construction workers, home attendants and nannies have been severely affected. Employees used to take home an average of $525 each week. But considering the recent rise in prices, the value of this income fell by at least 8 dollars, even though the paychecks remain the same. This is the largest decrease since 1991.

One Polish immigrant who came to the U.S. to support his family in Poland said, “I used to be able to save a lot more each month. But lately it’s been a lot harder. I now send less money back to my family.”

Lower income creates reduced spending for the average American or Polish family. In effect, less spending means a declining economy and more unemployment. Each month, tens of thousands of new jobs are created. Unfortunately, this is still not enough. The unemployment rate is back to what it was in November 2001- 5.6 percent. And the amount of unemployed workers does not allow for wage negotiations. Therefore, wages remain low and employers feel comfortable in this situation.

“I have not had a raise in two years even though the costs of supporting my family have grown,” said 42-year-old Robert Kiszynski, a welder in Manhattan and father of three children. Prices are rising. Public transportation, electricity and food are now more expensive then they have been in years, and high gas prices do not help either. Analysts emphasize that economical trends hit the low-income employees the most.

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Translated from Polish by Malwina Sieldinska.

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