The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows an 8.6% inflation since May 2021.

With prices of gas, energy, food, travel and more rising quickly, workers are falling behind. Most pay rates given to employees is immediately offset by the increasing price of goods.

It’s a dangerous slope. As a result, Erie residents have shared how they’re managing.

“We’ve kind of cut back on spending on groceries. We have switched grocery stores to lower cost stores to save. We’ve been eating differently. Not a lot of meat involved,” said Sally Smith, Erie resident.

“We’ve tried to cut back on our water usage for sure. Our garden is a little bit smaller. Because on one hand it uses water, on the other it produces food. So, we’ve cut that back a little bit,” said Martina Masters, Erie resident.

The prices of goods are going up faster than wages are.

Dr. Ken Louie, Economist at Penn State Behrend, told us what he thinks it will take for us to get out of this mess.

“In the 1980s, we proved that we can control inflation ultimately, but it came at a fairly high cost. The economy went into somewhat of a tailspin. So, we essentially rung out inflation by inducing a fairly high rate of unemployment,” said Dr. Ken Louie, Penn State Behrend Economist.

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How long will take this and how much variance there will be in people’s experiences remains to be seen. On the other hand, the supply chain issues remain even though the labor market is strong.