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Local economics professor weighs in on future of inflation

Inflation may have fallen slightly for the month of August but the sticker shock is not stopping for local consumers. As of August, inflation stands at 8.3% compared to one year ago. Food prices have climbed to 11.4%, and the cost of electricity is up by nearly 16%. However, gas prices are still inches lower.

Experts say external factors like the war in Ukraine and even the lockdown in China are causing supply issues and only worsening inflation overseas.

American International College Professor John Rogers explained that if you can supply goods, and offer them at a reasonable price, that helps. If supply is limited, people bid up the price and that feeds inflation. Professor Rogers advises consumers to continue to ride out the inflation storm, adding that by next year, we may start seeing more signs of it slowing down. Full story is available online at WWLP-22News.

It's Move -In Day for many college students

Incoming freshman and new students were scheduled to arrive at AIC starting at 9:00 a.m. Friday morning. Hundreds of freshmen followed the time honored ritual.

Helping his son get squared away in his new dorm room was Jim Pereira’s of Fairhaven, “Everybody here at AIC couldn’t be nicer, enthusiastic. I’m very happy my son will be around these people.” Full story is available at WWLP-22News. Move-In Day was additionally covered by Western Mass News.

 

Colleges, universities prepare to keep students safe as monkeypox cases spread

With monkeypox cases on the rise, many colleges and universities are working on protocols for students before they start classes this fall semester.

Western Mass News spoke with Kaelly Ryan, director of health services at American International College, who told us they’re noticing that monkeypox is being spread through both skin-to-skin and face-to-face contact, so Ryan advises students wear protective clothing to avoid coming in contact with lesions on the skin. Ryan provided additional information available by clicking on the link above.

Athletic Director Jessica Chapin discusses Mass. Gaming Commission's next steps on sports betting

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission held a meeting to start discussing regulations for sports betting in the state Thursday. This came following Governor Charlie Baker signing the bill into law. Western Mass News spoke with one local college athletic director to find out how sports betting will impact college athletes here in Massachusetts. 

 

Sports betting is officially legal in the Bay State. The new law allows bets on professional and college sports, but not on Massachusetts college teams unless they are in playoff tournaments like March Madness. “It’s great for the state of Massachusetts obviously from a revenue standpoint, but it really doesn’t change things here from an NCAA perspective. Our student athletes are not permitted to bet or gamble on any sports,” said Jessica Chapin, director of athletics for American International College. AD Chapin's full interview is available online at Western Mass News.

Affordable rental housing becoming nearly impossible for average worker: Here’s why

Rental housing has become increasingly unaffordable, making it difficult for average workers to maintain their standard of living. A new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalitions says there are zero states left where a minimum wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment. According to their research, the average U.S. worker must earn just over $25 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment and just over $20 an hour for a one-room.

 

The minimum wage in Massachusetts is currently $14.25 per hour, with plans to increase to $15 over the next few years. However, research shows that to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Massachusetts, you need to be making just over $37 per hour, assuming you are an individual who has a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year. Professor of Economics John Rogers was asked for his expert opinion, which can be found at WWLP-22News