Shrinking American Paychecks May Doom Obama Unemployment shrinks, but so do paychecks | Florida politics blog: The Buzz | Tampa Bay Times Shrinking American Paychecks May Doom Obamas Re-election Effort. Floridians are earning less and taking more low-wage jobs than they were a year ago, with pay rates dropping more than almost anywhere in the country. Workers saw their pretax paychecks shrink to an average of $847 per week, down $24 or 2.8 percent compared with 2011, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report released Thursday. Florida trails only Minnesota, Nevada and Connecticut in wage decline, according to the Labor Department. What would you do if your company cut your pay tomorrow by 5 percent? Ten percent? At companies like Agilent Technologies, workers don't have to wonder. The firm has asked every single one of its workers from the CEO right down to the guy on the factory floor to take a 10 percent cut in pay. As management sees it, a 10 percent paycut beats the 100 percent paycut of being laid off.