Majority of Americans say they are ‘falling behind’ rising cost of living

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A customer exits a Dollar Tree store holding a shopping bag that touts everything in the store is for $1, Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. However, a number of issues from supply chain challenges to inflation have forced the company to raise prices, leaving them few items at $1. Rogelio V. Solis | AP

The majority of Americans feel they cannot keep up with the cost of living as inflation and the price of goods continue to rise, according to new polling data.

poll from NBC News asked Americans, “Do you think that your family’s income is … going up faster than the cost of living, staying about even with the cost of living, or falling behind the cost of living?”

In response, 65% said they are falling behind, and 28% said they are staying about even with the cost of living. Only 6% said their income is going up faster than the cost of living.”

The poll comes amid soaring inflation and gas prices. U.S. gasoline prices hit another record high Monday, with Americans paying $4.48 per gallon average for a gallon of regular gasoline.

Gas prices have risen about 40 cents in the past month alone. The average price per gallon was $3.04 a year ago, a $1.44 increase.

The latest inflation data has also shown a significant rise in prices since President Joe Biden took office, with price increases outpacing wage gains. Consumer prices have risen at the fastest rate in decades. 

“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.2 percent in March…” the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. “Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.”

Biden has defended his work on the economy, pointing to the jobs recovered since the pandemic. Republicans, though, point to inflation and problems with the labor market.

“As Americans face record-high prices at the pump, President Biden is continuing his war on American energy by canceling oil and gas leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. “Working families are already suffering from Biden’s inflation crisis and harmful policies.”

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.