Two-Thirds of Americans Say Their Wages Lag Behind Inflation


Two-Thirds of Americans Say Their Wages Lag Behind Inflation

You almost have to feel sorry for the folks at the White House in charge of economic policy.

The unemployment rate in March ticked down to 3.5 percent, one of the lowest levels in records stretching back decades. The consumer price index (CPI) rose by just 0.1 percent, with the price of groceries flat compared with February and gasoline prices falling. Yet public approval of the Biden administration’s economic policies remains extremely low, and approval of the Big Guy himself keeps falling.

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CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey was released on Tuesday. It showed that Americans are more pessimistic about both current and future economic conditions than they have been at any time in the 17-year history of the survey. Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy by a 62 percent to 34 percent margin, worse than the miserable 57 percent to 38 percent recorded back in November.

Biden’s overall approval rating is deeply underwater. The share of Americans saying they approve of Biden’s job as president fell two percentage points from the November survey to 39 percent. The share saying they disapprove rose by a point to 55 percent.

By The Number

Prices Rising Faster Than Wages

Inflation is obviously the biggest problem. Only five percent of respondents to the CNBC survey say their household income is rising faster than consumer prices. Another 26 percent say they are just keeping up with inflation. A stunning 67 percent said they are falling behind because of inflation.

This is not some delusion on the part of American households. Over the past year, the overall consumer price index is up five percent, and food prices are up 8.5 percent. Electricity prices are up 10.2 percent. Prices of new cars are up 6.1 percent. Cloth