Money Culture

Workers Stress about Inflation Spike

Emotional toll figureRegular working folks can always find something about their finances to be stressed about. But today’s stress is coming from a new place: a level of inflation this country hasn’t seen in four decades.

A large majority of workers – 76 percent – identified rising prices as having a negative impact on their finances. And among households earning under $55,000, 84 percent are feeling stretched, according to the financial services website Salaryfinance.com.

Nearly half of the 3,000 workers the firm surveyed in February specifically said that inflation is stressing them out, causing anxiety, depression, or both. They said the inflation makes it tough to afford basic necessities or save money.

Gas signThe stress is understandable. The consumer price index has risen 8.5 percent over the past year, and the increase isn’t just at the grocery store or the gas pump. A narrower measure of inflation that excludes food and energy is also up sharply – 6.5 percent for the year. Housing, another necessity, is driving up living costs too.

Workers got some protection from price hikes in 2021, because their wages were outpacing prices, according to the Wharton School. But those gains could disappear this year if inflation continues to accelerate.

Consumers are getting some relief from falling gas prices, which have declined for the fourth straight week, according to Gas Buddy.

But the supply chain problems that drive inflation are growing. War rages between Russia and Ukraine, which together produce more than a fourth of the world’s wheat. And economists predict that China’s lockdown to stop the spread of COVID will put more pressure on prices.

The world is an unstable place, and consumers are paying.

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3 Responses to Workers Stress about Inflation Spike

  1. Brian says:

    Having lived through that early-80s inflationary period – I graduated from college in 1982 – I can tell you though it can be stressful (but, not enough to get depressed about), we will get through this alright.

    The world has always been an unstable place, and consumers always pay.

  2. Geoffrey Hewitt says:

    Most media never provides the real reason for inflation being biased and that is pumping trillions of dollars by the federal government into the economy increasing the money supply, so much for transitory from Janet Yellen.

    • Ellen says:

      Inflation is occurring world-wide. It may be that federal reserves in nations across the world have participated in supporting people and the economy through Covid and after, but it isn’t a U.S./Janet Yellen issue.

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