The wages of cooks have declined more than those of any other profession

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Cook's Real Wages Are Real Low

According to new reports, the onion-chopping preppers and burger-patty grillers of America are suffering most from declining real wages. Real wages refers to pay that's adjusted for inflation, and by this measurement, the take-home payments of cooks have fallen by 8.9 percent since 2009. It's the steepest decline among all the large occupations in the lowest-paid segment of the workforce. By comparison, janitors' real wages have shrunk by 6.6 percent, and housecleaners' by 6.1 percent.

The Times found a poignant example to hammer this home: an Iraq War vet who worked at KFC as a kid in the '90s making $5.50 an hour, which would now be $8.61, but today is back as a cook at the chain, making $7.25.

See photos from the fight to raise minimum wage around the country:

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Minimum wage protests, rallies for increase
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The wages of cooks have declined more than those of any other profession
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) speaks in support of raising the minimum wage for the state of New York to $15 per hour on September 10, 2015 in New York City. Biden said he would like to see the federal minimum wage risen to $12 per hour. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Workers who have fought for a raise in the minimum wage celebrate at a political rally where U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced their support to raise the minimum wage for the state of New York to $15 per hour on September 10, 2015 in New York City. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also said he would like to see the federal minimum wage risen to $12 per hour. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: Protesters in support of a $15 an hour minimum wage stand together on September 10, 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles are among cities that have adopted a $15 an hour minimum wages. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - SEPTEMBER 7: Douglas Born, of the Southern Mainen Labor Council, speaks at a labor day rally Monday, September 7, 2015 in Portland, Maine. The rally was aimed at honoring striking FairPoint workers and raising awareness of the effort to increase the minimum wage. (Photo by Joel Page/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON D.C., July 22, 2015-- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a strike rally, demanding to raise the federal minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, on July 22, 2015. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and International President of the Service Employees International Union Mary Kay Henry gesture during a rally after the New York Wage Board endorsed a proposal to set a $15 minimum wage for workers at fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations, Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in New York. The increase would be phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally for a $15 minimum hourly wage on July 22, 2015 in New York City. A panel appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo recommended on Wednesday that the minimum wage be raised for employees of fast-food chain restaurants throughout the state. The panel recommended that the $15 rate be phased in by December 31, 2018 for New York City and by July 1, 2021 for the rest of the state. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 22: A protestor holds a sign in Upper Senate Park during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 22, 2015, to push for a raise to the minimum wage to $15 an hour. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Activists cheer during a rally after the New York Wage Board endorsed a proposal to set a $15 minimum wage for workers at fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations, Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in New York. The increase would be phased in over three years in New York City and over six years elsewhere. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Workers hold a rally in support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' proposed minimum wage ordinance, in Los Angeles, on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The nation's most populous county could lift the minimum wage for some workers to $15 an hour by 2020. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to take a preliminary step Tuesday, July 21, that could lead to the higher wages. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Workers hold a rally in support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' proposed minimum wage ordinance, in Los Angeles, on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The nation's most populous county could lift the minimum wage for some workers to $15 an hour by 2020. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to take a preliminary step Tuesday, July 21, that could lead to the higher wages. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Workers react as the Los Angeles City Council votes 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required for final approval because the tally was not unanimous, in Los Angeles, Wednesday, June 3, 2015. Nonetheless, Council President Herb Wesson stressed to the cheering crowd that the outcome was all but certain. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )
Workers react as the Los Angeles City Council votes 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required, in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The ordinance tentatively approved Wednesday had the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti. A final vote will be taken June 10 because the action Wednesday was not unanimous. The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson speaks to Council members to vote to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020 in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The Los Angeles City Council has voted 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required. The ordinance tentatively approved Wednesday had the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti. A final vote will be taken June 10 because the action Wednesday was not unanimous. The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )
David Lazo, 5, center, with his father Francisco, right, raises a dollar bill as workers await the Los Angeles City Council's vote to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020 in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The Los Angeles City Council has voted 13-1 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, but a second vote is required. The ordinance tentatively approved Wednesday had the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti. A final vote will be taken June 10 because the action Wednesday was not unanimous. The increases would begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles City Council member Mitchell Englander sits after casting the only opposition vote to raising the minimum pay during a Los Angeles City Council meeting Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Los Angeles. The city council gave initial approval Tuesday to raising minimum pay in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )
Teamsters Local Union No. 396, union members, Political Coordinator Jim Smith, second from right, and Secretary-Treasurer, Principal Officer, Ron Herrera, far right, join workers as the Los Angeles City Council votes to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour by 2020, making it the largest city in the nation to do so, in Los Angeles Tuesday, May 19, 2015. The measure approved Tuesday calls for small businesses with 25 or fewer employees to have an additional year to reach the $15 plateau. The council voted 14-1 after members of the public made impassioned statements for and against the plan. The increases begin with a wage of $10.50 in July 2016, followed by annual increases to $12, $13.25, $14.25 and then $15. Small businesses and nonprofits would be a year behind. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )
Los Angeles City Council member Paul Krekorian expresses his support to raise the minimum wage during a Los Angeles City Council meeting Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Los Angeles. The city council gave initial approval Tuesday to raising minimum pay in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
FILE - In this April 14, 2015, file photo, home health care workers rally for better wages at Olvera Street in Los Angeles. Reducing poverty has emerged as the key theme in California after state lawmakers moved closer to raising the minimum wage, expanding health care to immigrants and allowing child care providers to unionize. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, left, expresses his support to raise the minimum wage Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Los Angeles. The city council gave initial approval Tuesday to raising minimum pay in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes )
Demonstrators take part in a march and rally sponsored the Service Employees International Union in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The Fix LA coalition, as they describe themselves, calls on city officials to establish job creation programs, institute a $15 minimum wage, place crossing guards at every school, and stop burdening taxpayers with bank foreclosure costs, organizers say. The demonstration ended with a rally at City Hall. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Jibri Range takes part in a protest march and rally sponsored the Service Employees International Union in downtown Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The Fix LA coalition, as they describe themselves, calls on city officials to establish job creation programs, institute a $15 minimum wage, place crossing guards at every school, and stop burdening taxpayers with bank foreclosure costs, organizers say. The demonstration ended with a rally at City Hall. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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More data, gathered by researchers at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, further show that wage-earners' productivity has been improving steadily for years now, but (big surprise) the beneficiaries are at the top — the companies themselves, their shareholders, and the top executives.

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