By Casey Harper (The Center Square)
President Joe Biden touted Americans’ rising wages over the weekend, but a closer look reveals more to the story.
“More Americans than ever in history have health insurance,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “There is less of an epidemic of families facing foreclosure today. And wages are rising faster than prices.
While wages have risen under Biden’s presidency, rising inflation has eroded and outpaced any gains for workers since Biden took office.
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“Biden’s presidency is only a few months old [we] “Wages and earnings have been seen to rise faster than prices,” said EJ Antony, an economist at the Heritage Foundation. “Over the past two years, the American people have clearly been worse off, with the average family losing $6,000 in purchasing power because prices have risen faster than wages.”
Anthony Biden argued that the data was misrepresented.
“[Biden] Said wages are now higher than they were seven months ago adjusted for inflation – but real wages are lower than they were 8, 9, 10, … months ago and lower than when Biden took office (conveniently omitted),” said Anthony Biden “also omits real. [average] Weekly earnings, which fell more than the actual [average] Hourly earnings, because businesses are cutting hours, cutting full-time jobs [and] Changing from part-time.”
Federal employees have faced this reality head-on in recent weeks.
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Biden issued an executive order in December offering a 4.6% pay raise, 4.1% raises and a 0.5% cost-of-living adjustment for a wide range of federal employees.
That increase was higher than the 2.7% increase from the same time last year, but hasn’t helped those workers keep pace with rising prices.
The 4.6% increase was less than the rise in consumer prices.
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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released new inflation data earlier this month, which showed that the overall consumer price index rose 6.5% over the previous 12 months.
This isn’t the first time Biden has offered a particularly rosy outlook on the economy. In a recent tweet, Biden suggested that food prices are falling, when food prices have actually skyrocketed since he took office.
“For the sixth month in a row, annual inflation has declined,” Biden wrote on Twitter earlier this month. “It may be going up in economies around the world, but it’s coming down here. And gas prices, food and more are following.
But food prices rose again in December for the last 12 months.
BLS data shows the “food at home” index was 0.2% in December and 11.8% over the past year. Eating out increased 0.4% in December and 8.3% over the past year.
“The cereal and bakery products index rose 16.1 percent over the year. The rest of the major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 7.7 percent (meat, poultry, fish and eggs) to 15.3 percent (dairy and related products),” the BLS said.
Like the central square before ReportedHere are some seasonally adjusted price changes for major food categories and annual numbers in December, according to the BLS’ data:
- Prices of cereals and bakery products were unchanged in December but rose by 16.1% over the last year.
- Meat, poultry, fish and eggs rose 1% in December and 7.7% over the past year.
- Prices of dairy and related products decreased by 0.3% in December but rose by 15.3% over the past year.
- Prices of fruits and vegetables decreased by 0.6% in December but rose by 8.4% over the past year.
- Prices of non-alcoholic beverages and beverage products rose 0.1% in December and 12.4% over the past year.
- The BLS’s “other food in the household” category saw a 0.4% increase in December and a 13.9% increase over the past year.
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.