What it is and how it affects American workers

In the US, workers returning to their offices two years after logging in remotely are finding everything from coffee to commuting and lunch more expensive.

Millions of employees have returned to the office after two years of remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding everything from coffee to food and commuting more expensive — a phenomenon some have dubbed lunch swell.

It starts with your morning commute.

as such CNN Reports, with gas prices hitting record levels recently, this is an expensive time to fill up frequently. According to the AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is now $4.60. In February 2020, it was $2.44.

Once you get to the office, some people like to start off nicely with Joe. Unfortunately, there is more bad news.

Starbucks raised prices in the US earlier this year and in October 2021 — and prices may continue to rise, CNN reports.

“We have additional pricing actions planned during the budget for this year,” then-CEO Kevin Johnson said during a call with an analyst in February, citing cost pressures such as inflation.

When it comes to lunch, things are a little better. Especially if you plan to eat healthy food.

The company said in its latest earnings report, that the Salad Sweetgreen chain has raised its menu prices by 10 percent since the beginning of 2021.

“Lunch inflation is 100% real, and everything is more expensive,” said Kelly Yao McClay, who lives in Potomac, Maryland. “Previously, you could have lunch for $7 to $12. Now there is no way to get a decent lunch for less than $15.”

Solid data supports this assertion.

in April, New York Times pIt reports a recent analysis from tech company Square put the average price of a roll in March 18 percent higher than a year earlier, with sandwiches up 14 percent and salads up 11 percent.

Square analyzed sales of popular lunches in the United States over a two-year period, from March 1, 2020 to March 1, 2022, interested in trade mentioned.

The company examined data on increased lunch costs in major cities including San Francisco, Austin, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle and Washington, DC.

The study was conducted to “understand how much consumers can expect to pay after a pandemic” for midday meals. The company, according to the report, said it was “revealing a new trend of ‘lunch inflation’, where costs of lunch items are rising faster than the average cost across all other items.”

while, The Wall Street Journal She reported that inflated lunch prices could prevent workers from eating out with their colleagues, putting pressure on labor relationships.

Maria Hagan, a worker interviewed by the newspaper, said she had to say no to colleagues who had asked her to join them for lunch due to financial constraints.

“It was a little disappointing, because as the price of lunches increased, our team lunches went down a little bit, so that changed how we could meet each other,” Hagan said.

According to the report, McClay had just started working in branding and marketing for a real estate company as everything shut down in April 2020. She was working remotely full time until October 2021. But now she works on a mixed schedule, in the office three days a week, She estimates that she spends about $30 to $35 a day on work-related expenses, such as lunch, coffee, snacks, and parking.

Today.com Quoting experts, they advised workers to bring their own lunches to save money. This is despite an 8.6 percent increase in the cost of groceries from a year ago.

This comes on the back of inflation in the US rising to the highest level since February 1982, with higher prices affecting the cost of gas, food and rent. The Consumer Price Index, a common measure of inflation in the United States, rose 7.9 percent in the year through February 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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