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You need up to $15,000 more just to live like you did in 2021, analysis finds

(NEXSTAR) – An economic analysis by a group of Congressional Republicans may have you feeling nostalgic for January 2021. There’s not much to miss about that time – when many Americans were still out of a job or under stay-at-home orders because of the pandemic – but inflation hadn’t yet exploded.

Since then, the cost of just about everything, from groceries to gas to housing, has skyrocketed.

An inflation tracker created by the members of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee shows the impact of inflation on the average household in every state. (While the joint committee is chaired by a Democrat, the report and data was put out by the committees’ Republican members.) The report uses January 2021 as a benchmark “because it was the last time inflation was within recent historical norms.”

Now, the report claims, most American household would need to spend an additional $10,000 or more just to afford the same goods and quality of life they had less than three years ago.

As cost of living varies by state, so does the cost of inflation. Even in the most affordable states, like Arkansas, Maine and Oklahoma, the average household still needs to spend more than $8,000 more to cover their needs when compared to January 2021.

Of all the states, Colorado households have it worst, according to the report. The annual cost of recent inflation for them is $14,995.

In Washington, D.C., it’s actually worse than any state. Families and households in the nation’s capital need to spend $17,109 to keep up with where they were at the beginning of 2021.

Hover over your state on the map below to see the cost of inflation annually where you live, according to the Congressional committee members’ analysis.

The map was first released in 2022, but has been updated monthly since. The data reflected in the map above is up-to-date with October 2023’s cost of living calculations.

The report’s findings are in line with how people feel about inflation. In a recent Bankrate survey, 60% of employed Americans said their income and wages have not kept up with increasing prices. Even most of those who’ve gotten a pay increase say it hasn’t been enough.

A CBS poll also found more people are having a hard time paying bills and covering expenses in 2023 than they were pre-pandemic.

Prices of most goods and services aren’t dropping – and economists say it would be a very bad thing if they were – but inflation is slowing. A report from the Commerce Department released Thursday said prices were unchanged from September to October, down from a 0.4% rise the previous month.

Compared with a year ago, consumer prices rose 3% in October, below the 3.4% annual rate in September. That was the lowest year-over-year inflation rate in more than 2 1/2 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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