Consumer prices jump, eroding workers' spending power

08/15/2008 | NYTimes.com

The Consumer Price Index jumped 5.6% in July compared with the same month a year earlier, its biggest increase in 17 years. Food, transportation and fuel all were sharply higher, and wages failed to keep pace with rising costs. After factoring in the higher cost of living, "rank-and-file workers" took an effective 3.1% pay cut, according to data from the U.S. Labor Department.

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