May 09, 2022

According to a March 2022 poll by research firm tippinsights, many Americans say they’re worse off than a year ago.

Keep in mind, we just enjoyed the strongest economy in four decades. In 2021, gross domestic product was up 5.7%, and wages grew 4.7% on average.

But only 20% of Americans think they’re better off financially than a year ago. Meanwhile, 42% said they were worse off and 36% said they were the same. That means of 78% of America stayed stagnant or declined financially.

How is that possible? Inflation is how; it’s up 7%. So, despite the 4.7% wage growth, prices grew more.

According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI), gas is up 50%. Inflation has hit the grocery aisle too, as meat, fish, and egg prices are up 13%, per the CPI.

Now let’s look at the averages. A 4.7% average wage raise combined with 7% higher average prices means Americans are down by 2.3%. No wonder many don’t feel better off.

Worse, the poll also shows 34% of Americans do not appear to be prepared for a financial hit like a job loss or economic downturn because they have no emergency savings – none. Slightly better, 11% of respondents said they have a month’s worth of expenses saved up, and another 11% said they have two months’ worth of expenses put away.

Pollsters asked the number of months that could be covered by savings, ranging from zero to six or more. Only 16% had six months’ or more worth of savings on hand.

That means more than half of the population is a missed paycheck or two from disaster. That is frightening.

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