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Cost of living surpasses wage increases




Fast food workers and activists demonstrate outside the McDonald's corporate campus on May 21, 2014 in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Fast food workers and activists demonstrate outside the McDonald's corporate campus on May 21, 2014 in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is in Los Angeles today. On his agenda is a sit-down with Mayor Eric Garcetti to talk about raising California's minimum wage from $9 an hour. 

Previously on Take Two, we've talked about what that would mean to people getting by at that rate and to employers when they have to start paying their workers more.

But what about people in other income brackets? Have they been struggling to get by with less since the end of the recession?

"We're ahead, "says economist Chris Thornberg, "but at the same time, the cost of living has increased pretty sharply in the area."

Thornberg says spiking housing costs have eaten into many of the economic gains that were lost since the recession, and that's true mostly for the lower- and middle-income workers throughout Southern California.