Sustainability Infrastructure

Most Americans think they need a raise to keep up with inflation

“Inflation this year has increased the price of pretty much everything, but the record levels we see are in large part driven by energy costs and by labor shortages, and through labor shortages into higher wages.”
Associated Press/Mark Lennihan

Story at a glance


  •  WalletHub’s Labor Day survey found that 87 percent of Americans believe they should receive a raise to rival inflation.

  • Inflation is also expected to impact how Americans travel this holiday weekend, and gas prices are the main reason. 

  • Nationwide gas prices as of Sept. 2 are $3.80 per gallon for regular grade fuel.

Rising inflation has impacted consumers at the gas pump, the grocery store, and at the airport leading them to make difficult decisions. But most Americans say their employers could help by giving them a raise to keep up.  

WalletHub’s Labor Day survey found that 87 percent of Americans believe they should receive a raise to rival inflation, while nearly a third are concerned about their job security.  

Inflation is also expected to impact how Americans travel this holiday weekend, and gas prices are the main reason. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they are less likely to travel compared to last year due to the price at the pump.  

Most surveyed said their travel expenses were eaten up by gas prices. 

Nationwide gas prices as of Sept. 2 are $3.80 per gallon for regular grade fuel, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Prices are highest in California, where the average cost per gallon is $5.20. 

Overall, 58 percent surveyed by WalletHub said they are not better off financially than they were a year ago, and around 55 percent said they do not plan to travel for the holiday. 

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“Inflation this year has increased the price of pretty much everything, but the record levels we see are in large part driven by energy costs and by labor shortages, and through labor shortages into higher wages,” Michael D. Noel, an economics professor at Texas Tech University told WalletHub. 

“For those already commanding a higher salary sufficient to keep up with inflation, and there are many, inflation is largely a wash. For those without, travel will necessarily be more expensive at least for the time being,” he added.  

WalletHub’s survey measured the online responses of more than 350 adults across the country from Aug. 15 to Aug. 19.