January 2023


PayPal Holdings said Tuesday it is planning to cut 7% of its workforce, or about 2,000 employees, the latest fintech firm to blame mass layoffs on the economic slowdown.

The payments firm also joins Big Tech firms and Wall Street titans, which are executing layoffs across corporate America as companies look to rein in costs to ride out the downturn.

PayPal’s move to keep a tight lid on costs comes against the backdrop of decades-high inflation hitting the purchasing power of consumers who also have to contend with the threat of a looming recession.

“While we have made substantial progress in right-sizing our cost structure, and focused our resources on our core strategic priorities, we have more work to do,” said PayPal’s Chief Executive Dan Schulman in a statement.

Shares of the payments firm, which lost about 60% of their value last year, closed up 2.3% at $81.49.

“Similar to other tech companies, PayPal is seeking to position itself financially and strategically, bracing for an economic slowdown,” said Moshe Katri, analyst at Wedbush.

Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member at investment firm Great Hill Capital told Reuters that “tech over-hired during the pandemic and rationalizing staff during a soft period will help them to retain margins as conditions recover.”

In November, PayPal had cut its annual revenue growth forecast in anticipation of a broader economic downturn and said it did not expect much growth in its US e-commerce business in the holiday quarter.

Executives at the company said at the time that a challenging macro environment, and slowing e-commerce trends were pushing it to be prudent with its forecast.


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The world’s tallest Holiday Inn has won a judge’s approval to become a shelter for migrants in downtown Manhattan — clearing the way for a deal with the city that will pay the hotel’s owner $190 a room per night.

Earlier this month, the 50-story, 492-room Holiday Inn Manhattan Financial District – which filed for bankruptcy in November after getting slammed by the pandemic — inked an agreement with New York City Health and Hospitals, the agency charged with housing the Big Apple’s ballooning migrant population, according to court documents.

The nightly room rate the city will pay — which, with the hotel at full capacity, amounts to a daily tab of $93,500 and a monthly tab of $2.8 million — is at the high end of a range between $115 and $190 the city has allotted for a migrant hotel housing program that now reportedly spans dozens of hotels citywide, according to hotel consultant Geoffrey Mills.

It’s also well above an average daily room rate of $102 the hotel was getting in January with an occupancy rate of 60%, according to court filings. On Tuesday, the hotel’s website was advertising rooms at $145 to $149 per night.

The Holiday Inn Manhattan Financial District was just approved to house asylum seekers for the next 15 months.
The Holiday Inn Manhattan Financial District was just approved to house asylum seekers for the next 15 months.
William Farrington

A federal bankruptcy judge in Manhattan approved the plan on Monday submitted by the hotel’s owner, Chinese developer Jubao Xie. The hotel estimates that it would earn $10.5 million through the end of the contract on May 1, 2024, which would help pay down its debts, which include $11 million in interest on its loans.

Under the agreement, the city will provide 24-hour security and be responsible for removing “guests that may be unruly or otherwise pose a danger or nuisance to the other guests, the employees and contractors,” according to court papers. The hotel will provide housekeeping services at least three times a week.

The filings provide a rare glimpse into the partnerships the city is forging with some 70 local hotels, including The Row, The Watson, The Stewart, The Paramount and Night Hotels that have agreed to temporarily house migrants.

Migrants at Port Authority
More than 40,000 migrants have arrived in NYC since last year.
Gregory P. Mango

The Row Hotel
Asylum seekers who are staying at The Row hotel used hot plates to cook in their rooms, as The Post exclusively reported.

“It pulls back the curtain on these agreements, which are otherwise not public,” said distressed-debt expert Adam Stein-Sapir.

Under the agreement, the hotel’s franchisor IHG Hotels and Resorts is requiring that it not be advertised as a Holiday Inn during the contract period and that “exterior branded signage be covered and it otherwise be made clear to the public that the Hotel is not available for public use,” according to court documents.

If any migrants stayed in the hotel past the contract, the city would be obligated to pay the hotel $750 per room per day as incentive to clear the hotel out, according to the filings.

Migrant families arriving at the Stewart Hotel in Manhattan.
The Stewart Hotel is among some 70 properties that have contracts with NYC to provide housing to migrants.
J. Messerschmidt/NY Post

Mayor Eric Adams said this month that the cost to house and care for asylum seekers coming across the Mexican border, mainly from Central America, has already exceeded the city’s estimates and is approaching $2 billion or double what the city had forecasted. Some 40,000 migrants have come here since last year, the city said this month.

According to the agreement, microwaves will be removed from the rooms, with a few moved to common areas to prevent safety hazards that have stemmed from migrants using hot plates in their rooms — an issue that arose at the Row NYC hotel in Times Square, as exclusively reported by The Post. The city will also provide all food but might use the hotel’s restaurants and employees to prepare meals, according to the filing.

A conflict between the Holiday Inn and its lender, Wilmington Trust National Association, came to a head last week when the bank asked the judge to block the plan, objecting to among other things the terms of the agreement that allow the city to determine whether to repair “excess wear and tear” to the hotel.

“Operating the hotel as an asylum seekers’ residence is not consistent with the Hotel’s brand, how it is marketed or how it may be impaired from being marketed after the proposed contract ends,” the lender said in a Jan. 24 filing.

The property’s owners countered in a Jan. 17 filing that the bank’s claims were “outrageous,” alleging that the lender’s “ultimate goal is getting rid of the [hotel’s] favorable loan.”

The entrance to the Holiday Inn Manhattan hotel.
The Holiday Inn’s lender is opposed to the hotel being used to house migrants, the bank said in court filings.
Kristy Leibowitz

The hotel, which first opened in 2014, defaulted on its $137 million mortgage in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic. The hotel’s loan rate is 5.25%, which equals about $612,000 in monthly interest payments.

“The hotel has to be performing pretty well for it to keep its existing loan in place,” Stein-Sapir said. The irony is that “if the hotel is performing well, it’s not great for the lender, which doesn’t want to get stuck with a low market loan on its books,” Stein-Sapir added.

An attorney for Wilmington Trust didn’t respond to requests for comment.


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The aviation industry witnessed the end of an era on Tuesday as Boeing made the final delivery of its iconic 747 “jumbo jet” model.

The famed plane — nicknamed the whale for its distinctive hump and formally known as the Queen of the Skies — has been in service since 1970.

It has logged tens of millions of miles carrying passengers around the world and will even been modified to fly the president on Air Force One.

The 747 was taken out of service by US carriers in 2017, though some remain in use abroad.

It has remained in service as a cargo plane, with the last and 1,574th, a model 747-8 Freighter, delivered to Atlas Air in Boeing’s hometown of Everett, Wash.

Thousands of current and former Boeing employees, customers and suppliers were in attendance to celebrate the final delivery.

“It’s a very emotional experience, I know, for so many of the current team and so many that have lineage in the program over the many decades,” Kim Smith, Boeing’s vice president and general manager for the 747 and 767 programs, told Reuters.

The final Boeing 747 lands at Paine Field following a test flight Jan. 10 in Everett, Wash.
The final Boeing 747 lands at Paine Field following a test flight Jan. 10 in Everett, Wash.
A Boeing 747 takes off from Seattle in January 1970.
A Boeing 747 takes off from Seattle in January 1970.


A Pan Am Boeing 747 sits at Heathrow Airport in London in 1970.
A Pan Am Boeing 747 sits at Heathrow Airport in London in 1970.
Military personnel watch as Air Force One, with President Donald Trump aboard, prepares to depart at Andrews Air Force Base in 2017.
Military personnel watch as Air Force One, with President Donald Trump aboard, prepares to depart at Andrews Air Force Base in 2017.


Developed in the late 1960s, the first 747 made its debut for the now-defunct Pan Am in 1970. The wide-body jet was designed to facilitate larger passenger flights during a boom in air travel at the time.

The crew of a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet pose in front of the nose of the plane at London's Heathrow Airport in England on Jan. 12, 1970.
The crew of a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet pose in front of the nose of the plane at London’s Heathrow Airport in England on Jan. 12, 1970.

Boeing took just 28 months to design and build the 747, which was the world’s first twin-aisle plane at the time of its debut. The model has long been produced out of the same Boeing plant in Everett.

Newer plane models produced by Boeing and its competitor, Netherlands-based Airbus, are more fuel efficient than the 747 and utilize two engines instead of four.

“If you love this business, you’ve been dreading this moment,” aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia told The Associated Press. “Nobody wants a four-engine airliner anymore, but that doesn’t erase the tremendous contribution the aircraft made to the development of the industry or its remarkable legacy.”

Production of the 747 had slowed in recent years due to sagging demand. Boeing delivered just five of the planes last year, far less than its peak of 70 aircraft in 1990.

Smith said that Boeing employees who worked on production were either reassigned to other roles or voluntarily retired.

Nevertheless, Boeing 747-9 planes are expected to remain in service as cargo freighters for the next several years.

Modified versions of two Boeing 747 planes will serve as replacements for the White House’s Air Force One. The planes are due for delivery in 2024 as part of a $3.9 billion contract.

Boeing’s 777X, its latest passenger plane model and projected replacement for the 747, is set for delivery in 2025.


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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Another fast moving and very weak weather system will pass well south of St. Louis this afternoon into early this evening. The worst the St. Louis area may see is a few snow flurries. However, our southern communities are in line for a couple of quick hitting light snow and sleet showers between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

These snow bursts will be fast and very patchy. Some communities may see them, while others miss them entirely.

Where is the snow expected to fall? Around a line from Sullivan, Missouri to Carlyle, Illinois. If you are traveling further south into Arkansas or Kentucky or Tennessee, then you will run into much bigger issues.

This does not look anywhere near what hit yesterday afternoon. The worst might be a light dusting with a couple of short term slick spots on any untreated driving/walking surfaces. Overall, I expect this to have limited, if any, impact.


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What’s the best thing about playing Lauren? “First of all, you get to wear some great fashion, plus I’ve had some remarkable, wonderful storylines and I got really lucky to win the co-star lottery every time.”

What was the best thing about playing a bad girl, which Lauren was at first? “Well that was just so much fun, and, when I wasn’t saying hurtful things to Beth Maitland’s character [Traci], I really loved finding the joy and the juice in that. No bad girl thinks she’s bad, but I think Lauren was aware of her manipulations for a long time and there was some power that she felt from that. It was never, ‘I don’t know why I’m like this’; she knew what she was doing. What made it fun playing a bad character is finding the truth in that as to why that character can feel that way.”

What was the best thing about working with Beth? “We became instant besties. It was like Camp Genoa City because we were really young and we were working crazy hours back then. It was, like, 12-to-15 hour days and then we’d learn 20-to-40 pages of dialogue a day, and we were working four and five days a week. Then we were recording music at night, so it was just an immersive experience. Of course, Beth is so incredible and we had so much fun together for a solid two years. I had to say such awful things to Beth [in scenes], and she will graciously tell you that I cried about it because it was so hard for me. Some of it was a lot of fun, but when it was really personal, I could barely get those words out of my mouth. And Beth is such a pro.”

What was the best thing about working with Michael Damian (Danny)? “He is just the sweetest, kindest, most fun guy. Beth and I were talking recently about him and we said no matter what he’s done in his life, he has not changed one iota from the nice guy I met in 1983. He’s adorable and I’ve been there at the premieres of the movies he’s directed and a lot of other wonderful things and he always takes time to talk to me.”

What was the best thing about working with Doug Davidson (Paul)? “Well, first of all, it’s really what’s the best/worst thing about working with Doug? He’s one of the funniest humans on earth and when I could detect a glint in his eye, I’d be done. Doug makes me laugh like nobody’s business. We also never knew what was going to happen on tape. It didn’t matter how many times we rehearsed, we never knew what was going to come out of our mouths and how a scene would go, so there was this sort of like a crackling excitement from that.”

What was the best thing about working with Kimberlin Brown (Sheila)? “Kimberlin and I had so many physical fights and we really trusted each other. I was always in heels or bugle beads and I was sliding all over the place, while she was in tennis shoes or boots, so she was able to hold on to me and keep me from falling. Let me tell you, Kimberlin is an extraordinary Sheila. She played that character for all it’s worth and did an incredible job.”

What was the best thing about the famous baby-switch story, which introduced Sheila? “It gave us a lot of interesting story to play, that’s for sure. It was built around my [real-life] pregnancy, so I got to work all the way up to a few days before I delivered. It was a wild story — and long. In those days, soaps took their time with stories and they could last up to a year or more. Just when you thought there was going to be progress [with Lauren’s story] with Sheila’s mother, Molly, revealing the truth, she had a stroke and couldn’t communicate. Now, this was the problem with working with Doug. I had all these scenes with this wonderful actress [Marilyn Alex] who played Molly, and because the character had a stroke, something happened to her head. I guess the way they put her head thing on, Doug said, ‘She looks like a Q-tip.’ That was the last time I could make eye contact with this poor actress. But the story slowly unfolded and the audience became really invested in the story. It was beautifully constructed.”

What do you consider the best plot twist? “When Lauren’s father, Neil Fenmore, died. I didn’t see that coming and I was shocked. I was so part of the whole music thing and it was a huge departure overnight, but it turned out to be great and took Lauren into a whole other direction.”

What was Lauren’s best wedding? “Well, the one with Michael was so much fun because there was also a lot of other stuff going on. The only scary part about the wedding is that I had to deliver my monologue at five minutes to 1:00 and then they were pulling the plug — no pressure! Other than that it was a really fun wedding. I remember being nervous, like I was actually getting married. At this point, I was married in real life, so I don’t know why I was so nervous about this one. It was kind of funny. Oh, and you know who helped run lines with me that day? Bill Hayes [Doug, DAYS]. He sat with me in my dressing room while everyone else was doing their scenes and ran the vows with me until I felt comfortable. That’s such a great memory to have with him.”

What’s the best thing about working with Christian J. LeBlanc (Michael)? “He’s an extraordinary man and an amazing actor. He’s intelligent and intelligently funny. There isn’t a day that I go into work and don’t belly-laugh. We have a similar sense of humor and we’re silly, and that’s like a drug to me. Going into an environment where you are full-on laughing every single day is pretty extraordinary.”

What was your best Daytime Emmy moment? “That I got to win [for Outstanding Ingenue] the same year as my best friend, Beth [for Outstanding Supporting Actress].”

What’s the best thing about working at Y&R? “I would have to say everyone there is 100 percent committed to making the best show. After all of these years, every single person I work with today has the same work ethic and that’s what makes going to work so much fun.”

Who is Lauren’s best friend? “Phyllis. What I like about them is they can disapprove of what each other does and they can even not like each other for periods of time, but they love each other and at the end of the day they’ll show up for each other.”

What’s the best thing about working with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis)? “First of all, we’re very close in real life, so to be able to bring our friendship onto the screen really fills in all the spaces for Lauren and Phyllis. It’s a lot of fun to work with people that you love and adore. She’s an incredible actress so you have to bring your A game. What I love about working with her is that I can read a scene one way, and inevitably she will always surprise me.”

What’s the best thing about playing Lauren as a mom? “Having the cutest TV sons, Daniel [Hall, ex-Scott] and Zach [Tinker, Fen; Sonny, DAYS]. There was an instant rapport and comfort with both of them, but I don’t really get to play Lauren as a mom a lot.”

What was your best storyline? “I really loved the story of Michael and Lauren coming together over Kevin and how we then had to walk away from each other for Kevin. I thought that was beautifully done, and then getting Kevin well and Michael proposing. Christian and I had a huge hand in that. Everyone thought it was a horrible idea to put us together, but we knew it could work. Until then, we just played sex in every scene that we were in because we really wanted to work together. [Then-Head Writer] Jack Smith was ‘No, no, no!’ and we were like, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ until we wore him down and he wrote us the most beautiful love story.”

What was your best location shoot? “That would be Lake Como, Italy when I was on BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL. For Y&R, I only went to San Francisco, Griffith Park, Tahoe and the CBS parking lot. All of Italy is in love with BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL, so there were crowds and craziness wherever we went. The minute the sun went down we all got to play.”

What was the best thing about working on B&B? “It was really an amazing experience because when I was there, those were the days when we would come in, block our scenes and then break for lunch, so the cast and crew all spent a lot of time together going to lunch. We would talk and laugh and get to know each other across tables. It was almost like doing summer stock.”

What was the best thing about working with Darlene Conley (ex-Sally)? “That was when I got to play some comedic moments and working with Darlene will do that. Talk about never knowing what’s going to come out of someone’s mouth. I could have one line because she could talk for an entire page or she could have a monologue and she’ll say one line of it and stop. She was so brilliant and fun and funny and very interesting. She was larger than life and I’m so glad I got to spend the time with her.”

What was the best thing about working Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie)? “That it was so much fun because we were very good friends off camera as well. Whenever we were on location shoots in Italy or in New York for the [Daytime] Emmys, Susan was always the ringleader on what activities we were doing. She’d be like, ‘Okay, we’re going here, and we’re doing this, we’re doing that’, and you didn’t dare tell her that you were too tired.”

What’s the best thing about working with John McCook (Eric)? “Like Doug, John would make me laugh so hard before every scene. He is just hilarious, and so sweet and loving. We just really had a great time working together.”


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CHICAGO – A new suburban stadium could be on the horizon for the Chicago Bears, though it appears some Illinois representatives are not quite on board with that prospect.

The Bears are highly considering a new home in the Arlington Heights suburb of Chicago, one that could pair an NFL stadium with a nearby entertainment complex. A key part of that 326-acre proposal, a PILOT tax incentive, has yet to be discussed among Illinois state lawmakers.

This would allow the Bears to “pay to Arlington Heights a negotiated sum for the property taxes,” according to the Chicago Sun Times. The report further explains mixed reactions to the proposal, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker noting he does not support public financing of a new Bears stadium.

The report offers some uncertainty as to whether the Bears might stay around Chicago long-term without an approved tax incentive to speed up the new stadium process.

Todd Maisch, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, tells the Chicago Sun Times, “I think it needs to happen by the end of this session. If not, you’re going to start to have other states make their cases on why the Chicago Bears should be the St. Louis Bears.”

Speaking that possibility into existence, regardless how realistic it might be, is interesting for a few reasons. St. Louis was home to the NFL Cardinals from 1960-1987, after they relocated from Chicago. After a brief stint with the NFL Rams from 1995-2016, St. Louis will enter its eighth season without an NFL team this year, a longer stretch without a team than the time between the Rams’ arrival and Cardinals’ departure.

The Bears have a large backing in northern Illinois, but not allegiance to NFL teams elsewhere in the state varies, according to recent research from The Chiefs are considered the most popular team for much of the St. Louis area and Metro East counties, per Vivid Seats.

Despite Maisch’s comments, no other reports tied to Illinois officials have suggested that St. Louis could be home to the Bears or any other NFL team in the near future.


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A genetic engineering company has bold plans to “de-extinct” and “re-wild” the dodo bird — centuries after the flightless fowl waddled the planet.

Colossal Biosciences unveiled Tuesday its “Jurassic Park”-like goal to bring back the dodo, adding to previous pledges to resurrect two other long-extinct species — the woolly mammoth and the Tasmanian tiger.

The firm’s newly formed Avian Genomics Group will lead the effort to reproduce the dodo, which Colossal said died out “as a direct result of human settlement and ecosystem competition in 1662.”

“The dodo is a prime example of a species that became extinct because we — people — made it impossible for them to survive in their native habitat,” said Beth Shapiro, Colossal Biosciences’ lead paleontologist and advisory board member.

Colossal’s founders say the company aims to reverse damage to the dodo’s environment and ecosystem — but its mission could have broader implications for gene editing and other fledgling technology of interest to investors.

“Having focused on genetic advancements in ancient DNA for my entire career and as the first to fully sequence the dodo’s genome, I am thrilled to collaborate with Colossal and the people of Mauritius on the de-extinction and eventual re-wilding of the dodo,” Shapiro added.

The firm eventually plans to create a safe habitat for the dodo if its plan succeeds.
De Agostini via Getty Images

The firm’s goal, while unusual, has drawn a roster of notable investors that includes “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth, “Succession” actor Nicholas Braun, Paris Hilton, the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, and other entities.

The firm is valued at $1.5 billion after a recently closed $150 million Series B fundraising round. Participants in its most recent funding round included tech investor and “Jurassic World” producer Thomas Tull’s United States Innovative Technology Fund and Breyer Capital. Colossal has raised $225 million since its debut in September 2021.

Ultimately, Colossal aims to successfully reproduce the dodo and recreate a sustainable habitat for the bird in Mauritius, where it was once found.

Critics of the firm have expressed skepticism about the achievability of its goals, as well as the unknown variables associated with recreating a long-extinct species.

The dodo bird has been extinct since the 17th century.
PA Images via Getty Images

For investors, the “de-extinction” effort is only part of the appeal.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Tull touted the possibility of scientific discoveries as Colossal works through the process.

“Along the lines of being able to bring a species back, we’re going to learn things we can’t learn in a wet lab,” Tull told the outlet. “When you’re doing big things like this, who knows what you’re going to discover along the way.”

Colossal said the latest infusion of cash will help the firm to “continue to advance genetic engineering and pioneer new revolutionary software, wetware and hardware solutions, all of which have applications to de-extinction, conservation and human healthcare.”

Colossal Biosciences has a number of celebrity backers.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The startup has more than 40 scientists and three labs working on its woolly mammoth project and claims it will be able to produce calves by 2028, the firm said. The team working on the Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, consists of “30 dedicated scientists” who have “already achieved great progress,” according to a release.

“A society embracing endangered and extinct gene variants is one poised to address many practical obstacles and opportunities in carbon sequestration, nutrition, and new materials,” Colossal geneticist and co-founder George Church said in a statement. I am pleased with our company’s progress across multiple vertebrate species.”

Colossal Biosciences co-founder Ben Lamm told Bloomberg that his firm has a recruiting advantage over rival genetic engineering firms due to its eye-catching goals.

“You can work on yeast or you can work on bringing back an extinct species,” Lamm told the outlet.


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NEW YORK — Bed Bath & Beyond said last that it’s in default on its loans and doesn’t have sufficient funds to repay what it owes. The company told Nexstar Monday that it will be closing 87 additional stores.

One of the stores closing is in the St. Louis area. The Bed Bath & Beyond in Sunset Hills Plaza near Lindbergh and I-44 is on the new closings list.

The company also plans to close five buybuy BABY stores as well as all of its Harmon beauty locations.

The home goods chain said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the default would force it to consider alternatives including restructuring its debt in bankruptcy court.

Shares in the company based in Union, New Jersey, fell 22% Thursday in reaction to the news.

Bed Bath & Beyond warned on Jan. 5 that it was considering options including filing for bankruptcy, saying that there was “substantial doubt” that it could stay in business. A week later, it reported a 33% drop in sales and a widening loss for its fiscal third quarter that ended Nov. 26, compared with the year-ago period. Sales at stores opened at least a year — a key indicator of a company’s health — dropped 32%.

Its recently appointed president and CEO, Sue Gove, blamed the poor holiday performance on inventory constraints and reduced credit limits that resulted in shortages of merchandise on store shelves.

Typically, struggling retailers file for bankruptcy protection after the holiday shopping season because they have a cash cushion coming from the two-month sales period.

Still, turning around Bed Bath & Beyond is expected to be difficult amid increasing competition from discounters. Its struggles come as the economy is weakening, and shoppers are tightening their purse strings.

It has been trying to turn around its business and slash costs after previous management’s new strategies worsened a sales slump. The company announced in August it would close about 150 of its namesakes stores and slash its workforce by 20%. It also lined up more than $500 million in new financing.


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More than half of Americans earning six-figure salaries admitted they were living paycheck to paycheck last year as high inflation slammed households, according to an alarming study released this week.

As of the end of December, 51% of Americans with $100,000 or more in annual income said they lived paycheck to paycheck, according to the survey conducted by LendingClub and The share rose 9% compared to one year earlier, when 42% of six-figure earners made the same admission.

Overall, a whopping 64% of US consumers — the equivalent of 166 million Americans — said they were living on razor-thin budgets each month. That was up from 61%, or about 9.3 million, compared to the previous year’s findings.

Of the 9.3 million Americans who joined the ranks of monthly struggle, 8 million earn more than $100,000.

“The effects of inflation are eating into every American’s wallet and as the Fed’s efforts to curb inflation drive up the cost of debt, we are seeing near-record numbers of Americans living paycheck to paycheck,” said Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub.

“While the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck is close to the height we saw in the middle of the pandemic, the causes appear to be very different, as the economy is not sheltering in place like it was back in 2020,” Nayar added.

Grocery prices
Overall, inflation hit 6.5% in December.
AFP via Getty Images

Inflation has cooled slightly in recent months, but it still remains a major source of pressure on US households. Overall, prices rose 6.5% in December, while the cost of groceries jumped nearly 12%, according to the Consumer Price Index.

The services index, which includes housing, transportation and medical care, rose 7% compared to last year.

The share of Americans who said they were having trouble covering their bills jumped to 24% in December, up 2% compared to the same month one year earlier, according to the survey.

Grocery prices were up nearly 12% last month.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Within the six-figure income bracket, 16% said they were struggling to pay their bills.

Despite some improvements in inflation, many Americans are still taking a pessimistic view of the economy. Just four out of 10 Americans who admitted living paycheck to paycheck expect their incomes to keep pace with inflation this year.

Additionally, 90% said their pay increases were effectively wiped out by higher prices last year.

Grocery shopper
Inflation remains a major source of pressure on US households.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima

“We can expect more and more Americans of all incomes identifying themselves as living paycheck to paycheck until we see the economy recover,” Nayar added. “Now more than ever, it is crucial for consumers to examine spending and build a cushion of savings to prepare for the unexpected.”

The survey based its findings on responses from nearly 4,000 US adults between Dec. 8 and Dec. 22.

Last week, data released by the Commerce Department showed a decline in personal spending in December — a sign that Americans are cutting back on purchases due to the impact of inflation.

Americans will be watching closely this week as the Federal Reserve makes its decision on another interest rate hike. Fed officials have signaled rate hikes will continue until inflation is addressed — despite concerns of a slowing economy.


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