We want to hear from readers who have stories to share about the effects of increasing costs and a changing economy. If you’d like to share your experience, write to email@example.com. Please include your name and the best way to reach you. A reporter may be in touch. For many people living in the U.S., these are tough — and confusing — times. On Friday, the Labor Department reported 263,000 new jobs in November, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%. Layoffs remain low, despite mass job cuts in the tech sector. Average hourly wages have also risen 5.1% in the past year, but still lag behind inflation for many workers. And there were 10.3 million job openings in October — slightly down from the previous month’s 10.7 million.
Some people might see the latest economic data as both challenging and confusing. After all, the cost of living rose 7.7% on the year in October. The once red-hot housing market is finally cooling, thanks to mortgage rates that have more than doubled over the last year amid the Federal Reserve’s attempts to rein in inflation, and rents, while moderating, have surged from pre-pandemic levels. Borrowing money to cover increased precarity is becoming more expensive too, with the average credit-card APR at 19.2% as of Nov. 30, according to Bankrate.
“‘It’s just mind-boggling, the disconnect that we’ve seen.’”