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Relentless inflation is forcing more Americans to consider finding a second job

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More than half of working Americans are considering a second job as painfully high inflation quickly erodes their purchasing power.

That’s according to a new survey by Qualtrics International that found 38% of workers are looking for a second job. According to a survey of 1,000 full-time employees in the US, 14% are considering looking for another job.

At the same time, 18% of workers said they moved to an area with a lower cost of living to cut costs. An additional 13% had a plan to do so.

The Labor Department reported last week that average hourly earnings for all workers fell 3% in September compared to the same month of the previous year, taking into account the impact of rising consumer prices. On a monthly basis, average hourly earnings fell 0.1% last month to account for the rise in inflation.

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By this measure, even though nominal wages are rising at their fastest pace in recent years, the typical US worker is actually worse off than a year ago.

This is because consumers face scorching inflationrapidly reduced their purchasing power.

The consumer price index, a broad measure of the price of everyday goods, including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 0.4% in September from the previous month, the government said last Thursday. Prices rose 8.2% year-on-year.

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These figures were higher than Refinitiv economists’ forecast of both the 8.1% headline figure and the 0.2% monthly increase. Federal Reserve it is trying to cool price increases and tame consumer demand with an aggressive interest rate hike campaign.

US inflation

August 23, 2022, a customer looks at organic products at a supermarket in Montebello, California. (Federic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

In an even more relevant development suggestive of the underlying inflationary pressures Core prices, which extract more variable measures of food and energy, rose 0.6% in September compared to the previous month, while the economy remained strong. Core prices rose 6.6% year-on-year, the fastest rise since 1982.

Inflation has put severe financial pressures on most US households, who have to pay more for everyday necessities such as food and rent.

The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already extended paychecks are heavily affected by price fluctuations.

Although households continued to see some delay over the past month, low gas pricesOther price increases in September, which decreased by 4.9% compared to the previous month, were persistent and stubbornly high.

The cost of grocery stores rose 0.7%, bringing the 12-month increase to 13%. Consumers paid more for products such as cereal, chicken, milk and fresh vegetables.

USA job fair

Job seekers visit booths during the Spring Job Fair at the Las Vegas Convention Center on April 15, 2022. (KM Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Getty Images)

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Housing costs, which account for nearly 40% of the core inflation increase, increased by 6.6% last year, the fastest since February 1991.

Rental costs rose 0.8% month-on-month and 6.7% year-on-year. Rising rents are a worrying development because higher housing costs affect household budgets most directly and sharply. Another data point measuring how much landlords would pay in equivalent rent if they had not purchased their home, rose 0.8% in September from the previous month.

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