Wages are rising at their fastest pace in decades. Here’s how it compares to inflation


Much of the pain comes at the gas pump and at the supermarket checkout. Buying a house has become much more expensive too, with mortgage rates above 5%.

“Obviously the fact that costs are rising so much — and for a lot of people, more than their wages — is having an impact,” Hoyt said.

How much do gas, mortgages and food cost these days, compared to rising wages? CNN Business took a look.

The median hourly wage for full-time workers was $1.70 higher in April than it was a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Wage Growth Tracker. For those working a 40-hour workweek, that’s an increase of $68 a week – the highest since the bank began keeping records in 1997.

Full-time workers earn 6.2% more than in April 2021. Over the course of a year, the salary increase would reach $3,536.
Gas prices have skyrocketed in recent months. Demand is stronger as Americans resume travel and travel, but supply challenges persist due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, retirements at U.S. refineries and curtailing of oil production by the United States and OPEC. The latter recently agreed to pump more oil over the next two months.
Nationally, a gallon of gasoline cost $4.87 on June 6 compared to $3.05 a year earlier, according to AAA. Prices have hit new highs in recent days – a month ago, a gallon of gasoline cost $4.28.

A year-over-year increase of $1.81 translates to an increase of nearly $1,551 in annual household gas spending, according to Moody’s Analytics.

Rising prices have forced many Americans to make tough choices, including how often they can visit family, what jobs they can take and where they can vacation this summer.

Mortgage rates have risen sharply since January, although the peak has eased somewhat in recent weeks.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.09% in the week ending June 2, compared with 2.99% a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

Rising rates mean that a buyer who bets 20% on a $375,500 home and finances the rest with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage will pay nearly $4,400 more per year and about $131,150 more. more in cumulative interest payments over the life of the loan, according to Freddie Mac.

Rising rates caused a slowdown in the housing market, which exploded during the pandemic. The rising cost of borrowing has made it even harder to buy a home and caused some potential buyers to pull out of the market altogether.

Supermarket shopping has become much more expensive over the past year, with the price of eggs, ground beef, apples, soft drinks and other items rising by double-digit percentages, according to IRI, which tracks data from 66,000 stores nationwide.

Almost all shoppers surveyed by IRI in May said they were concerned about food inflation, and about three-quarters said they were making at least one change in their buying behavior. About half are looking for sales or deals more often, more than a third are cutting back on non-essential products and a quarter are opting for lower-cost options more often.

These changes help mitigate the impact of inflation, said Jonna Parker, director of IRI Fresh. The $304 increase in annual spending equates to a 4.1% jump, less than the rise in prices of many shoppers’ favorite items.

Anna Bahney of CNN Business contributed to this report.


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