Minnesota Man Stumbles Across Job Ad Offering the Same Salary He Earned 14 Years Ago

Jennifer Farrington - Author

Jan. 10 2023, Published 1:25 p.m. ET

For months, we've heard about employers struggling to fill positions and job seekers unable to find jobs. And thanks to a Minnesota man's TikTok video, we now know at least one factor fueling this vicious cycle — low wages.

In the video, the job seeker reveals to viewers that he came across an ad for the same job he held 14 years ago and it offered the exact same pay.

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Shocked by the discovery, TikTokers took to the comments section to unload their thoughts and frustrations.

TikToker says the company he worked for 14 years ago is still offering the same job and pay.

In the video, the TikTok user @non1mOuz3 says that while looking for a job, he came across a listing for a data entry specialist position in Saint Paul, Minn. In terms of salary, the company was offering between $15 and $16 an hour. What’s more, he realized he had worked that position for the same company beginning in January 2009 and received the same pay!

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While it’s evident inflation and other issues are impacting some employers’ ability to offer competitive wages, times and the cost of living have changed dramatically since 2009. And we’re quite certain a person can't live off the same salary they were earning in 2009 now in 2023.

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After the big reveal, the TikTok user went on to attribute low pay as the reason why “nobody wants to work” today. The video, which has garnered over 200,000 views and counting, also received several comments. One TikTok user wrote, “I do this for 22/hr, and I feel extremely underpaid.” Another commented, “even my local McDonald's is up to like $18 by now.”

Another viewer added, “Even at $25 it doesn't work people are still living paycheck to paycheck. You have to reach $35 in order to be a semi-comfortable.”

Although the data entry specialist job is offering more than minimum wage, the company that posted it appears to be a few dollars short of the average hourly pay for a data entry job in the U.S. As of Jan. 2, 2023, data entry jobs pay, on average, about $20.01 an hour, according to ZipRecruiter.

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How much do I need to earn per hour in order to live comfortably in the U.S.?

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In order to determine just how much you need to earn per hour to live comfortably in the U.S., you’ll need to consider the state and county where you live. The Massachusetts Institute of Tech (MIT) living wage calculator breaks down just how much you need to earn per hour (with and without children) to support yourself and your family.

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We used the MIT living wage calculator to determine whether the data entry job mentioned in the viral TikTok video was offering enough for a person to make a living wage. Here’s what we found. As an adult living (with no children) in Saint Paul, you need to earn at least $18.74 per hour to make a living wage. And if you have one child, the hourly rate is then bumped up to $37 per hour.

If a single person with no kids were to accept that job, they would be earning less than a living wage.


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