The strong job market is boosting workers’ pay, though not enough to offset higher prices. The Labor Department says that after accounting for higher consumer prices, hourly earnings for private-sector employees fell 2.7% last month from a year earlier, the 12th straight such drop.
There are exceptions: After-inflation wages rose 8% for hotel workers and 4% for restaurant and bar employees in March from a year earlier.
Partisan politics, in the meantime, is influencing the way Americans view the inflation threat. With a Democrat in the White House, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say that inflation is having a negative effect on their personal finances, according to surveys of consumer sentiment conducted by the University of Michigan.