With the whole world in a "now hiring" status, it has led me to ask, where did the workforce go? Did they all find better jobs? Were they let go for disciplinary reasons, or just like the economy, the workplaces went in the dumps? Is it still a result of the pandemic? Are that many people doing well enough that they don't need to work? With so many positions needing people and minimum wage moving up to $15 an hour, what's "well off" anymore?

It's been my experience that once a cost of living increase goes into effect, wait because every one of your bills/utilities will need to raise their rates for the cost of doing business. That raise you received, in a way, may cost you more money. When I've mentioned this to people, I usually get the whole "well, that's poor money management." I've been guilty of that in the past, but putting pen to paper and mapping it all out, nope, not this particular time (or the past few). What is considered poor vs. well-off? What's regarded as middle class, especially here in Yakima?

What Is Middle Class Anyway?

In an article on Investopedia.com, they site the Pew Research center on how the "Middle Class" is defined:

"Households that earn between two-thirds and double the median U.S. household income, which was $65,000 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Using Pew's yardstick, middle income is made up of people who make between $43,350 and $130,000." – PewResearch.org (Pg. 22)

Keep in mind this simple money calculator doesn't consider the location or how many incomes a household may have.

How Does That Translate Into The Wages Here in Yakima?

With a quick google search, I found that Yakima's average income (2020) is over $26k for an individual and $48k for a household. So eyeballing the numbers, and remember that the Yakima info is a little outdated; most of Yakima's average income earners are below middle class, at least in the Pew Research calculations. The cost of living is also cheaper here in the Yakima Valley, which falls into the "location" variable in the Pew Research.


What do you think? Did I crunch the numbers wrong? Is there an aspect I should have considered or flat-out missed something? Please, tap the app, send me a message, and let me know. That's how I learn and can better understand. Not to mention, grow and make better decisions in the future… at least one can hope.

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