Study: Wages have grown stagnant in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

Study: Wages have grown stagnant in Michigan

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

For many families in Michigan it is becoming harder and harder to get ahead.

The cost of basic expenses is constantly rising, but one thing continues to remain the same - your paycheck.

Wages have grown stagnant with the majority of jobs in Michigan paying less than $20 per hour.

"As a small business you want to make money," said Kim Coonan, owner of Coonan's Irish Hub in Bay City.

Coonan wants to make money like everyone else, but he wants employees to get their fair share.

"I believe our wage for them is higher than the average and I believe are cooks are as well," Coonan said.

According to the group Michigan First, 75 percent of employees statewide have stagnant or declining incomes and 40 percent of Michigan households don't have enough money for some basic necessities.

"Wages have been going down for 50 years," Coonan said.

Ben Hanson and Allison Hart, employees at Coonan's, said they are glad to work at a place where wage increases are a reality.

"Everybody would like a better wage," Hanson said.

Coonan believes in order for everyone to earn a living wage, healthcare reform and changes to the federal tax code must happen. He also wants to see lawmakers enact a $15 per hour minimum wage.

For now, he said he will keep paying his employees well.

"They wouldn't be here if I wasn't," Coonan said.

A study from Harvard shows every Michigan county has experienced a significant decrease in median household income since 1999.

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