In October, the consumer price index rose by 6.2 percent, the highest rate in thirty years. This increase was caused by higher prices for various products, such as food, gasoline, and rent. Rising prices can strain families and individuals who rely on these costs for their living.
High inflation can also affect the economy’s recovery for women in particular. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the childcare industry, the number of women in the labor force has decreased. During the “she-cession,” the wage gap between Black and white women, immigrant women, and low-wage workers has also widened. This issue is further exacerbated by the lack of resources for women of color.
Food and Necessities Becoming Inaccessible
In addition to being more likely to shop at stores, gendered expectations can also affect the way women feel about inflation. For instance, they may spend more time in order to find the best deals, which can lead to higher prices. On the other hand, women are also more likely to spend their income on non-durable goods, such as food and toilet paper. Tampons and other feminine hygiene products have also been rising in price since April.
In March, the consumer price index rose by 8.5 percent, with the biggest increases being seen in food, shelter, and gas. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women spend about 30 percent more on groceries than men. The study also found that the same items that are among the highest in inflation are also purchased by single women.
Although women are more likely to shop at supermarkets, they are also more likely to spend on meals at home. This is because inflation has increased their spending on food by 10 percent. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to go out for dinner or takeout, where the price increases have been smaller.
Food prices were up by 15 percent in March. Some of the major factors contributing to the increase included higher prices for fats and oils, flour, and milk. Other food products, such as fruits and vegetables, were also up by 10 percent. Bakery and sweets were also up 8 percent, and dairy products were up 7 percent.
Women are more likely to purchase certain types of food products, such as chicken and beef, which have seen significant increases in price due to inflation. Men, on the other hand, tend to spend more on other food products, such as pork and alcohol.
According to Kathryn Anne Edwards, an economist at the RAND Corporation, women are less likely to have the options they need to make informed decisions when it comes to food prices due to their low-wage jobs and higher health costs. Men, on the other hand, can still absorb the rising prices by making other changes to their eating habits. For instance, they can reduce their takeout orders or go to the grocery store to purchase a cheaper item.
If you’re already shopping as cheap as you can, then you can’t absorb the price increase. This is when people start skipping meals and cutting back on their purchases.
Other Financial Considerations
Since inflation is the main cause of financial problems for people, especially those who are in debt, it’s important to note that women are more prone to falling behind due to their food and medical expenses. They also tend to carry more student loan debt than men.
According to the Social Security Administration, about 55 percent of people who receive benefits are women. However, the average monthly benefit for women is lower than that of men. This means that women are more vulnerable to falling behind due to rising inflation.
According to Berg, the increasing number of women calling the National Food Hotline in 2021 revealed that they were more likely to experience poverty and hunger than men. The organization, which is funded by the US Department of Agriculture, received about 75 percent of its calls from women.
One of the most important factors that policymakers can consider when it comes to ensuring that women are not left behind is ensuring that programs that provide financial assistance keep up with inflation. For instance, some federal grants do not provide adequate coverage for certain types of necessities, such as diapers and baby wipes.
Another important factor that policymakers can consider is ensuring that programs that provide financial assistance keep up with inflation. Although the cost-of-living adjustment is based on an annual basis, it does not follow review cycles. This means that as inflation increases, the power of benefits begins to decline until the next adjustment.