What is driving inflation?
The most visible sign is gas prices, which are posted in giant numbers outside stations in every corner of the state. It’s easy to see when prices go up because it’s so clearly in your face. Fortunately for drivers, gas prices have dropped significantly in the past few weeks from their early summer highs.
Then there’s housing. It’s the single biggest expense for most people, and though experts urge people to find accommodations that cost no more than 30 percent of their income, many people are forced to go far higher than that figure to find a place to live. The trends continue to go in the wrong direction for people struggling to get by as housing grows more expensive, and the effect is magnified in a place like Connecticut already known for high prices.
A recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Hartford-based Partnership for Strong Communities found that increases in rent are outpacing increases in wages, leaving many low-income residents to fall further and further behind. A renter would have to make $22.53 an hour to afford a one-bedroom home, the report states. Connecticut’s minimum wage, among the highest in the nation, is now $14 an hour.
Editorial: Housing costs out of reach for too many, Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board, CT Post, July 29, 2022, available here