(FreedomBeacon.com)- Many Americans are seeing significant increases in their wages this year, as a tight labor market is forcing salaries higher than in recent years.
However, most Americans aren’t seeing this in their bank accounts, as surging inflation is more than offsetting these gains.
On Friday, the Department of Labor said that average hourly earnings for employees ended up decreasing 2.4% in the month of December compared to the same month last year, when you factor in the overall impact of increasing consumer prices.
When the Labor Department factors in the 0.5% spike in inflation, average hourly earnings went up by only 0.1% during the month of December. That means that, compared to December of 2020, typical U.S. workers are worse off now, even with nominal wages increasing at the fastest pace they have in years.
Surging inflation resulted in the consumer price index increasing 7% in December, the highest mark since back in June of 1982, which experienced a 7.1% increase in the CPI.
Core prices in December, which are exclusive of volatile industries such as energy and food, increased 5.5% year-over-year in December — the highest such 12-month increase in 30 years. In November, that mark was 4.9%.
People are having to pay significantly more for everyday products today than they had to last year. Overall energy prices actually decreased by 1.1% in December over November. Still, they’re up 29.3% from this time last year.
On average, gasoline at the pump costs almost 50% more than it did at this time last year.
Other major price increases are happening with food (6.3%) as well as used vehicles (37.3%). Costs for shelter are also up 4.1% for the year, and increased 0.4% in December. That’s the fastest pace of increase since back in February of 2007.
The chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, Seema Shah, commented recently:
“Inflation at 7% is no joke. It’s the highest annual CPI number since 1982 and driven not by energy prices, but by just about everything else.”
The Biden administration has been trying to paint a rosy picture on the situation, saying that inflation had actually decreased from November to December. The president claimed that this was evidence of a “meaningful reduction in headline inflation,” and further was demonstrative of prices for gas and food falling.
But, even he admitted that:
“At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do, with price increases still too high and squeezing family budgets. Inflation is a global challenge, appearing in virtually every developed nation as it emerges from the pandemic economic slump. America is fortunate that we have one of the fastest-growing economies.”
Not many Americans will take solace in those words, though, especially as they are struggling to pay for ordinary, everyday expenses such as food and gas in their vehicles.
It’s one thing that Democrats consistently miss the mark on — not having a pulse on what really matters to most Americans.