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Paychecks shrinking in San Diego

Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 21:12:48-04

San Diegans are still struggling to keep up with the area's ever increasing cost of living.

And now, they have one more hurdle - shrinking paychecks. 

The Labor Department is reporting that the average wage in San Diego dropped two percent over the year, to $1,108 a week, or $57,616. Manufacturing jobs had the biggest decline in wages, while workers in the Information field got the biggest raises. 

Bryan Andrews quickly learned the hard truth about living in San Diego. He lived in a large house in Arizona, until he moved here in April.

"It's expensive as heck," he said. "My cost of living is pretty much the same, but I have one room in half of a shared two bedroom apartment, as opposed to having my own four bedroom, two bath home."

And the rent's only getting more expensive, even as paychecks fall.

"You just have to go along with it," said Jack Roybal, who said he's taken pay cuts in the past. "If you want to live in San Diego, you got to do what you can."

But there is still one place where dollars are going further: the grocery store. Food prices have been falling over the last year, including eggs, which are down 38 percent; chop meat, which is down nine percent, and milk, down five percent.

San Diegans can save even more by not eating out as much, because restaurant prices are rising. 

"You just find ways to cut corners," Andrews said, noting there are temptations all around. "I've got the ocean, I've got Hillcrest, San Diego from what I've seen so far is really cool."

But he says he lives within his means, and that includes plenty of visits to the 99 Cent Store, which also sells groceries.