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News and Views from the People's Struggle

inflation

By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On Thursday, July 11, the Department of Labor released the most popular measure of consumer prices, showing inflation continues to decline. The overall Consumer Price Index or CPI actually declined by 0.1% in June as compared to May. The year-over-year rise, from June 2023 to June 2024 was 3%. This was the lowest inflation rate in more than three years.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – The February 2024 employment report released by the Department of Labor on Friday, March 8 continued to show signs of weakness. While total job creation seemed healthy, with 275,000 net new jobs reported by the survey of employers, there were significant downsides to the overall report.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On Friday, November 4, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate in October rose from 3.7% from 3.5% in September. The increase was even larger for Asian Americans and Latinos, who saw their unemployment rates rise by 0.4%, twice the overall rise.

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By Masao Suzuki

Inflation for workers still at 40-year highs

San José, CA – Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers or CPI-W has been rising this year at the fastest rate in 40 years. This high inflation continued in September, with prices measured by CPI-W up 8.5% over a year ago. Higher prices combined with fewer hours means that the purchasing power of average weekly earnings for workers fell 3.5% from a year earlier.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – Real earnings, or workers’ wages after adjusting for inflation, had their biggest drop in 40 years last month, as prices continued to rise faster than paychecks. Real average weekly earnings, which best reflect workers’ paychecks after adjusting for changes in wages, prices and hours worked, fell 1% in June of 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last year, real average weekly earnings fell 3.9% as inflation outpaced pay raises and average weekly hours fell by almost an hour.

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By Masao Suzuki

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San José, CA – With Bitcoin now down 70% from its record price in April of 2021, businesses based on cryptocurrencies have started to fold. The latest victim was Celsius, a crypto “bank” which stopped withdrawals from its accounts on Sunday, June 12. Celsius had more than $20 billion in assets at its peak in August 2021, drawing investors with yields of more than 18%. But Celsius is looking more and more like a high-tech Ponzi scheme that only lasted as long as new investors kept buying in.

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By Masao Suzuki

Working households struggle as wages don’t keep up

San José, CA – On Friday, June 10, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that prices for workers’ families, the so-called Consumer Price Index-Wage or CPI-W rose by 9.3% as compared to prices a year ago. This rate of inflation is near a 40-year high, only exceeded by the 9.4% increase in March. The last time that prices rose so quickly was in November of 1981.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – Gas stations, grocery stores and car dealers are not the only places people are facing sticker shock, as anyone looking to rent can tell you. Prices to rent an apartment are up around 20% over the last year.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On Wednesday, January 12 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that prices of consumer goods rose 7% in 2021. This is the highest rate of inflation in 40 years. With workers’ wages only up by 4.7% last year, the purchasing power of workers’ earnings fell by more than 2%.

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