Utahns’ concern over growing inflation

A recent poll conducted by the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and Deseret News found that Utahns are concerned about the record-high inflation.  

Despite Utah’s impressive job recovery rate, the cost increase of goods and services continue to worry Utahns.

The poll was made up of 815 registered Utah voters and found that 93% of the people surveyed are somewhat or very concerned with inflation and of those with concern, 64% believe the inflation impacts are not going away anytime soon.

The January consumer price index released on Feb. 10, and showed a 7.5% rise from January 2021, resulting in the fastest increase since February 1982. The rise in food, shelter and electricity were the top increases.

“What’s worse is that this likely isn’t the peak,” said Seema Shah, the chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

Many university students have been affected by inflation, resulting in frustration with the rising costs. 

“Our budget is tight,” said Hayden Hinck, an SUU nursing program student. “I do not have a lot of time to work so my husband is working really hard for us to afford groceries and gas.”

A frustrating setback from the new omicron variant has been worker shortages, something that has impacted Cedar City. In the same poll, Utahns were asked about their level of concern with getting COVID-19.

56% of Utahns reported that they were concerned with contracting the virus while 43% reported they were not concerned. 

“This may be one of those Utah things where people are largely worried about those around them,” said John Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. “We may be in that phase of the COVID cycle as well where so many people have been exposed and know people who have either had it or have it now.”

Piper Harris, an SUU student and Brad’s Food Hut waitress, has seen how the shortages have affected her coworkers. 

“There have been times when we have not had enough employees,” Harris said. “It is hard to find people to work for you when [they] are sick.”

The average positive test rate for COVID has decreased by almost 10% in Utah since the end of January and the fatality rate has remained at 0.5% since mid-January. 

COVID has played a significant role with the inflation increase. Americans are more concerned with inflation this year rather than last year. 

Article by: Lexi Hamel


Photo courtesy of: Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash