Americans Need $11,400 More Annually To Make Ends Meet

According to a recent analysis, the average American household must earn an additional $11,400 just to maintain the same standard of living from January 2021.

The analysis, which was performed by the Republican members of the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee, reported that Americans have been struggling to make ends meet.

Despite wages increasing around 13.6% on average since the pandemic began, families must earn an additional $11,400 just to keep up with the cost of food, transportation, housing, and energy. Those four areas account for 80% of the increase in cost of living for most Americans.

The Biden administration, however, doesn’t agree with the numbers, calling the analysis “flawed.”

“14 million more Americans have jobs today than when President Biden took office and household disposable income is up by almost $21,000 since December 2020,” a White House spokesman said in a statement. “And what Congressional Republicans pushing this one-sided study won’t admit is that their proposals would raise costs on the middle class and cut Social Security and Medicare so they can give rich special interests more tax giveaways.”

While the Biden administration have faults with the analysis, the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosperity (LISEP) produced similar findings.

The institute found that 6 in 10 Americans fail at having their basic needs met, with their incomes falling short by almost $14,000 on average last year. This total outlines the struggles that many households are facing after two years of rising inflation, which has pushed up costs for everything.

“Middle- and low-income Americans aren’t doing well enough — they are living fragilely on the edge,” said Gene Ludwig, chairman of the LISEP.

Ludwig noted that costs are the same regardless of socioeconomic status, but hit lower-incomed Americans harder.

“Food costs and basic costs are up more than other costs,” He said. “Putting on a Thanksgiving dinner costs the same if you’re a lower- or upper-income American, but for a lower-income American it’s a bigger portion of your spending.”

Inflation appears to be rapidly decreasing, with October’s prices rising 3.2%, which is far lower than the 9.1% pace recorded in June 2022. Unfortunately, inflation is still hitting consumers. At McDonald’s, Big Macs cost 10% more than they did in December 2020, leaving many consumers counting every penny.

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