U.S. Wages Are Soaring, but High Inflation Is Not Leaving Workers Much Better Off

Average hourly pay has increased by 4.6% over the past year, a rate not seen since the late 1970s and early 1980s, driven by severe labor shortages. However, this increase in wages is being largely offset by high inflation, which is running at its fastest pace in 30 years, eroding workers’ purchasing power. The surge in inflation is primarily attributed to supply chain disruptions, resulting in shortages of crucial parts and supplies for businesses. Despite efforts to address these challenges, such as the expiration of federal unemployment benefits, the labor market remains tight, contributing to ongoing economic uncertainties and potential prolonged recovery.

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