Budget Buster

71% Of Americans Say Pay Can't Keep Up With Inflation: Survey

Families continue to get slapped by inflation rates outpacing their salary and wages.

Originally Published: 
Closeup of young man holding bill to check the price in supermarket

Though inflation has slowed, costs are far higher than they were last year — and many Americans are struggling to keep up with the costs of covering the most basic needs, from food to shelter and everything in between. And one new survey is showing yet another way that families continue to get slapped by inflation: wage stagnation. Here's what you need to know.

According to Bank of America's 12th annual Workplace Benefits Report, "Navigating a New Era of Financial Wellness," first exclusively shared with CNN, 71% of respondents said their living costs outpace their salary and wages.

824 employees and 846 employers nationwide participated in the workplace survey in February. A second survey of 478 employees was conducted in July to examine workplace financial benefits and wellness program trends.

The main takeaway? People are still really stressed about inflation, and it’s continuing to squeeze families' wallets. For example, in February, only 58% of people said that they felt their cost of living outpaced their salary and wages, and by July that number had grown to 71%.

In addition to worries about inflation outpacing their salary, 80% of people who answered the survey said they had concerns about their finances in general. And half of those people shared that they've had to make emergency moves to make ends meet.

For example, 21% are working extra hours, 20% are actively looking for higher wage jobs, and 6% have resorted to a 401(k)-hardship withdrawal, the survey notes.

"The major contributor to that stress is inflation," said Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Bank of America, per CNN.

August’s inflation report found that year over year, inflation had grown 8.1%. Some costs — such as the cost of energy — were shrinking in price, but the cost of most other necessities like food, clothing, vehicles, and housing have continued to rise.

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