Key Points:

  • As of March 2023, on average, a worker needed to work for 7 minutes and 19 seconds in order to pay for a dozen eggs.
  • A year ago, a dozen eggs cost a worker 3 minutes and 32 seconds worth of wages. That’s around half of the time they need to spend now.
  • The rising price in terms of hourly wages reflects two trends. One is the stagnation of hourly wages. The other is the rising price of food, in dollar terms.
  • Overall, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that prices in February increased 6.0% in the last year and food prices increased 9.5%.

Economist Corner

Food prices have led the rise in the consumer price index from a year ago, exacerbating the food insecurity more than 34 million Americans, including 9 million children, deal with daily according to the USDA. As Americans scramble to feed their families and themselves, the rising price of eggs provides a dramatic example of what consumers face at the grocery store. In January 2023, the cost of eggs in terms of time spent at work reached the highest level on record at 8 minutes and 22 seconds. That’s more than double the average of 3 minutes and 12 seconds since 2006 when data on hourly wages for all private workers began.