Pump nozzles in gas station. If employees must spend a bigger percentage of their incomes on gas and food, intangible products, like most employee benefits, may be the first to get axed. (Photo: ©Federico Rostagno/Adobe Stock)

There is a certain advantage to longevity. Specifically, I have been writing this column for almost 20 years. More than 14 years ago, the January 2008 issue contained an article titled “It’s tough to compete with the price of gas.” When thinking about how to address the issue of inflation facing employers and employees this year, I dug out my copy of this article to see how today’s situation compares.

The price of gas when the article was written in late 2007 was a little over three dollars a gallon. Today, the average price of a gallon is around $4.50, and the upward trend seems to be continuing. But that’s not all. Anyone who has shopped for groceries in the past few months knows that food prices have also gone up significantly, while overall inflation in the economy is trending around 8%.

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