Egg prices rose 60% in 2022

One farm group claims it’s a ‘collusive scheme’ by suppliers

Egg prices soared to historically high levels in 2022 — and one group is alleging the trend is due to something more nefarious than simple economics.

Across all egg types, consumers saw average prices jump 60% last year — among the largest percentage increases of any U.S. good or service, according to the consumer price index, an inflation measure. Large, Grade A eggs cost $4.25 a dozen in December, on average — a 138% increase from $1.79 a year earlier, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The industry narrative has largely focused on a historic outbreak of avian influenza — which has killed tens of millions of egg-laying hens — as the primary driver of those higher prices. But Farm Action, a farmer-led advocacy group, claims the “real culprit” is a “collusive scheme” among major egg producers to fix and gouge prices, the organization said in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission. Doing so has helped producers “extract egregious profits reaching as high as 40%,” according to the letter, issued Thursday, which asks FTC Chair Lina Khan to investigate for potential profiteering and “foul play.”

13 states that have cut unemployment benefits are near or above February 2020 employment

Still ending benefits early could be a mistake

Many states that are have almost recovered to pre-pandemic employment levels are led by GOP-governors that have recently cut federal unemployment benefits.

New monthly data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that several states that have cut the extra $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits are closer to pre-pandemic employment relative to others. When ranking the states which are closest to their February 2020 employment levels as of June 2021, 13 of the top 15 are states that have cut unemployment benefits earlier than the September expiration.

Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist and the director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, told that ending benefits early is a “massive mistake” and doesn’t make any “economic sense.”

https://www.businessinsider.fr/