Study Finds Inflation Expected to Outpace Salary Increases Across Most Industries by 2028

Featured & Cover Study Finds Inflation Expected to Outpace Salary Increases Across Most Industries by 2028

Inflation is projected to outpace the majority of salaries in the coming years, as per recent findings. The analysis, conducted by Moneywise and published earlier this month, examined data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Federal Housing Agency (FIFA), and Redfin to assess the relationship between salaries and inflation over the past five years. According to the consumer price index (CPI), a widely used measure of inflation, the latest data shows no change from May and an annual increase of 3.3 percent.

The research revealed a stark reality: 97 percent of occupations failed to keep pace with inflation during this period. Adjusted for inflation, salaries experienced an average decrease of 8.2 percent. Moneywise pointed out that alongside rising inflation, home prices soared by an average of 56 percent over the same five-year span.

Examining 36 industries, the study predicted the median salaries for 2028 based on the average salary changes observed over the past five years. Notably, no industry showed an increase in real salary when adjusted for inflation. The sectors most adversely affected included sales, real estate, and engineering, all experiencing significant declines in annual salaries. Conversely, aviation, customer service, music, management, and hospitality industries saw comparatively smaller declines in their annual salaries.

A USA Today summary highlighted waiters and waitresses as the sole group to experience a salary increase (1.73 percent) when adjusted for inflation over the past five years. However, the outlook for several occupations appears bleak for the future. Elementary school teachers, accountants, administrative assistants, registered nurses, and general maintenance workers are anticipated to witness the most substantial declines in adjusted salaries by 2028.

Conversely, the outlook is relatively brighter for wait staff, food preparation workers, retail sales workers, cashiers, and customer sales representatives, according to USA Today’s report on occupations where adjusted salaries are expected to fare better.

Despite varied impacts across industries, the overarching trend is clear: inflation continues to outstrip salary increases for the vast majority of occupations, a trend likely to persist in the years ahead.

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