Friday 15 September 2023 - 06:41

US Incomes Fall for Third Straight Year As Inflation Rises

Story Code : 1081730
US Incomes Fall for Third Straight Year As Inflation Rises
Inflation-adjusted median household income fell to $74,580 in 2022 — a 2.3% decline from the 2021 average of $76,330, the federal agency reported on Tuesday.

The result has caused many cash-strapped New Yorkers to go out less, buy cheaper groceries, borrow from their family to pay rent – and even consider a move to Canada to escape the crushing impact of the administration’s touted Bidenomics.

Recess Hyde, 34, said he works two jobs, in fashion and marketing, to get by, The New York Post reported.

The Bushwick, Brooklyn, resident said he has begun researching menus online before a date to avoid getting shocked when the bill arrives.

“I feel it in my dating life,” Hyde told The Post on Wednesday, adding, “I’ve cut back on girls.”

“If I got a (date) … I got to do some research on the place and see what the food and bottles cost. You have to do your research because the bills don’t stop and we don’t have the luxury of disposable income.”

Tselane Stevens, 62, who moved to Midwood, Brooklyn, last month from Virginia, said she hadn’t gotten a raise in three years and had to turn to her family to help her pay the rent. She also would get groceries from a food bank.

“In the last three years, I stopped eating out. I’ve struggled to get my rent paid. I don’t even know the last time I shopped for myself. I haven’t bought new shoes or a new coat in three years, and I like shoes,” Stevens said.

She blamed part of the nation’s financial troubles on Biden’s preoccupation with events overseas.

“I don’t think Biden’s paying a lot of attention to the economy,”  she said.

“He’s paying more attention to what’s happening internationally than what’s going on right here in New York. He’s paying a lot of attention to Ukraine — that’s where all the money’s going.”

American incomes have been slipping gradually since 2020, when households enjoyed average earnings of $76,660.

This figure has dropped a whopping 4.7% since its peak in 2019, painting an ugly picture of how Biden’s economic policies have failed to counter pressures provoked by the pandemic — thus keeping inflation stubbornly high and wage gains too slow to keep up.

Another New Yorker feeling the squeeze is 32-year-old Indraja V., who moved from downtown Tampa, Fla., to Manhattan in April to take a job at a major tech consulting firm.

However, despite getting a $20,000 raise in base pay upon starting the new gig, bringing her base pay up to $131,000, Indraja told The Post that she “feels poor” in the inflation-riddled Big Apple.

“It would be a dream for a lot of people to achieve a six-figure salary, but it feels so small,” Indraja said, noting that after taxes and rent, she struggles to have enough funds to pay off her debt from obtaining her MBA, or for discretionary spending like gym memberships and plane tickets back to India to visit her family.

Indraja’s rent for her one-bedroom apartment is more than twice as expensive in NYC as it was in the Sunshine State.

Also back in Tampa, “I would never think about how much I’m buying while grocery shopping, but a slice of watermelon is $11 near my apartment.”

“I sent a picture of it to my friends because I was so shocked,” Indraja said of the piece of watermelon, which was pre-sliced, plastic-wrapped and on sale for an eye-watering $11.74 at The Food Emporium.

She’s not the only one facing sticker shock from skyrocketing food costs.

On Wednesday, inflation was higher than economists had expected, rising 3.7% in August versus a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Petra Hanson, 55, from Dumbo, has been eating into her savings to survive the past three years.

The former fashion designer has been struggling to get work, before recently deciding to launch her own aerial yoga studio.

“Grocery prices are ridiculous,” Hanson said.

“It seems businesses are taking advantage of inflation so they’re like ‘oh, now we’re charging $8 for oat milk,’" Hanson said, adding, “I’ve been shopping in cheaper places. Everything has become price motivated.”

“The cost of living in New York is off the charts between the basics of rent and food. We’re all just barely making it”.

Hyde echoed Hanson’s concerns.

“I was born and raised in New York and I love New York with all my heart, it’s the best and worst place on earth, but I am legitimately contemplating relocating to Canada,” he said.

Lark Clark, 75, also from Midwood, said the Big Apple’s high cost of living extends beyond food and rent.

“I’m going to the Blue Note Jazz Club in a couple of weeks to see (Cuban pianist) Chucho Valdes. Three years ago the ticket would have cost $40 and now it’s $70,” she complained.