WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) on all items increased by 3.1% for the 12 months ending in November—ticking down from 3.2%. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose at a pace of 4% in November from a year prior as in October. The shelter and food indices increased 6.5% and 2.9%, respectively, over the past 12 months. Real wages increased by 0.5%.

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at IWF, issued the following statement:

“Anyone shopping for gifts this year knows inflation and cost of living remains a problem. The statistics say that the inflation rate is down, but these increases are on top of previous year’s increases, so the result is that stock stuffers that used to be $5 are now $10.

“A big majority of Americans are stressed out over their finances because of inflation and stagnant wages. Today’s inflation report will do little to alleviate their concerns about affordability. Fast-rising housing costs continue to be the biggest driver of overall inflation. This is worrisome because inflation on shelter is not as volatile as energy or food prices, but stickier. It also consumes more household income than any other expense. 

“Financial stress is higher now than before the pandemic. Any savings accumulated during lockdowns and closures has been spent just trying to survive. Women are more likely than men to be stressed out over their finances. 

“Job growth is good but not good enough if wages are barely keeping up with inflation. We need to lower tax burdens on individuals and small businesses so that households can keep more of their earnings. Policymakers also must protect entrepreneurship and small businesses by reducing regulatory burgers and halting the assault on independent contracting. The Department of Labor should abandon its proposed rule that will restrict independent contracting nationwide in favor of unionizable employment.” 

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.