American families must pay $11,434 more to maintain 2021 living standard

"Middle- and low-income Americans aren't doing well enough — they are living fragilely on the edge," said Gene Ludwig, chairman of the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP), to CBS News, discussing the steep rise in expenses Americans are facing.

Coloradans are particularly affected by the worst inflation in 40 years. A report indicates that a household in Colorado must now spend an extra $15,000 per year. Housing prices in the state have increased by $267 per month since 2021.

Highlights (or lowlights, I suppose) from the report:

  • Wage vs. Inflation Disparity: Since January 2021, the average hourly pay has increased by 13.6%, less than the 17% increase in inflation during the same period.
  • Major Expense Categories: The largest spending increases for consumers are in food, transportation, housing, and energy, comprising nearly 80% of the additional spending.
  • Vulnerable Demographics: Middle- and low-income Americans are particularly impacted, living precariously due to financial pressures.
  • Inconsistent Inflation Impact: Although inflation is cooling (3.2% rise in October compared to 9.1% in June 2022), certain areas, like fast-food prices, continue to see increases.
  • Consumer Perception: Despite the cooling inflation, many consumers may not feel relief as most prices remain high, with exceptions like gas prices showing a decline.