October 29, 2023
Inflation is causing Black Households across America to not ease their financial situation or build wealth, as their incomes have not risen at the same rate as the cost of common goods.
Due to the inflating prices of everyday household items, Americans have been unable to lessen their debts, some even increasing money owed to credit companies. A new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center For Public Affairs Research shows that many Americans have had stagnated pay while the cost of living continues to rise.
According to the newly-garnered statistics, the majority of Americans, 2 out of 3 that participated, shared that their household expenses have risen since last year. On the other hand, only 25% of those studied have shared that their wages have increased as well.
“My income has stayed the same,” shared Steve Shapiro, a 61-year-old audio engineer from Pittsburgh, in conversation with Fortune about the higher cost of living. “The economy is good on paper, but I’m not doing great.”
“Good on paper,” shared the near-retirement Shapiro amidst claims that the economy is turning around by government entities. However, to everyday Americans, the cost of putting food on the table has become an ongoing problem. For an economy that alleges to be in good shape, the pockets of Americans are going to debt issues that have not gone away, with 50% claiming that they still have credit card debt. A slim 15% of participants have increased their savings.
Even student loan debt continues to weigh heavy in household budgets, in addition to increased loan rates prohibiting the mobility of Americans, as many choose to stay in their homes rather than face a significantly larger interest rate to buy a new home.
These new issues are especially concerning to households of color, specifically Black, as the racial wealth gap, in addition to pay discrepancies, leads to the median household income between Black and white families being tremendously different. As inflation causes disruption in the financial ease among White homes, this adds even greater stress and concern for their Black counterparts.
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