It was a sunny day at the Rochester Common; the economy for most, not so sunny

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Geoff Booker gives his son a ride a ride at the playground at the Rochester Common on Sunday afternoon. (Rochester Voice photos(

ROCHESTER - It was a beautiful day on the Rochester Common on Sunday, but the economic forecast people were feeling wasn't as bright as the brilliant sunshine overhead.
Most we spoke to said while wages have gone up since the Biden presidency and the end of the pandemic, inflation caused by the president's policies have eroded the quality of life of those working for a living.
"His first day in office he canceled the Keystone Pipeline," said Bill Riley of Rochester. "That began the increase in fuel prices, which led to higher food prices."
Riley, who was at the playground with his grandson, Ryan William Riley, said the economy was in a "terrible state."

Bill Riley with his grandson, Ryan William Riley, at the Common on Sunday.

He said he didn't like former President Donald Trump and he's been an independent all his life, but said "Trump got the job done," adding "It would take a lot for me to vote for a Democrat these days."
He also said there's a terrible worker shortage, forcing employers to often offer sign-on bonuses, which in itself, also adds inflationary fuel to rising prices at the pump and grocery stores.
The average cost of gas in the country is again approaching $4.00. As of today it stands at $3.93 nationwide.
Another Rochester resident, Geoff Booker, said that although gasoline for his car has gone back down from their pandemic high, groceries continue to soar.
A 12-ounce box of breakfast cereal can cost sis bucks. A bag of chips can cost seven bucks and a Delmonico ribeye can cost $25. At a restaurant it could cost almost double.
"I haven't had steak in a while," quipped Booker, the director of sales at the Chameleon Group of Dover.
In general, of the economy he said, "It could be better."
Meanwhile, Willie, a Somersworth man who didn't want to give his last name, said it's true that wages are up, but they aren't keeping up with inflation and rising prices.
Willie, who was gently swinging his year-old infant, said he worked for a local plumbing company.
"I work in trucking, but so many can't get employees and are having to pay sign-on bonuses that push our prices up even more," he said. "Wages aren't keeping up with the cost of living. Our rent for a two-bedroom apartment was $1,500 a couple of years ago. Recently they raised it to $1,975."

Debbie Chambers of Rochester who was at the Common with her granddaughter, said she feels OK with the economy.

Meanwhile, Debbie Chambers, who is on social security and a widow's pension, said she feels pretty well off.
She said she takes care of her daughter's children after their mom's untimely death a few years ago.
She said she lives in city housing and is getting by comfortably.

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