Inflation Fails to Fall in September - But, Americans’ Real Earnings Do

Craig Bannister | October 13, 2023
Text Audio
00:00 00:00
Font Size

Inflation held steady in September, but Americans’ earnings failed to keep pace, driving their “real” earnings down, compared to both August and year-ago, data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal.

Over the past 12 months, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items is up 3.7%, matching August’s year-to-year increase. Compared to August, September’s CPI is up a seasonally-adjusted 0.4%.

Meanwhile, real average weekly earnings decreased 0.2% from August to September, as real average hourly earnings fell 0.2% and the number of hours in the average workweek was unchanged.

Since September of 2022, real average weekly earnings have fallen 0.1%.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel highlighted the loss of real earnings, in a statement reacting to the BLS news on Thursday:

“Since Joe Biden took office, prices are up by 17.7 percent and real wages are down by over 3 percent. Americans are paying more for just about everything under Biden and there’s no relief in sight. That’s Bidenomics.”

On social media, RNC Research posted video of a CNBC report declaring September’s inflation “Hotter than expected.”



The index for shelter was the largest contributor to the monthly all items price increase in September, accounting for over half of the increase. A rise in the gasoline index was also a major contributor to the all-items increase.

Despite Americans’ need for food and energy, Pres. Joe Biden chose to tout September’s slowing year-to-year rate of “core” inflation, which excludes the rising costs of food and energy, in his Thursday statement. The 12-month increase in core inflation was 4.1% in September, down from August’s 4.3% year-to-year rise.

In his statement, Biden attacked Republicans and repeated his claim that he’s expanding the U.S. economy through a “middle out and bottom up” approach.

“Taken as a whole, the report painted a picture of extremely stubborn inflation that has been slow to retreat, even as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates to the highest level in two decades,” Fox Business cautioned in its analysis of September’s numbers.

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

Real Earnings
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics