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Some industries are willing to increase salaries, economists say 'now is the time to negotiate'

Inflation continues to rise and it may not seem like the ideal time for a raise, economists say otherwise.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As inflation continues to rise at historic levels and the continuing virus prevents a full return to normal life, it may not seem like the ideal time for a raise. 

However, certain industries are willing to increase the pay to keep employees from leaving and economists say, now’s the time to negotiate. 

“I’m a single dad and I have two kids so it's definitely a struggle,” said Javier Martinez, a construction worker in San Diego, who never misses a day of work. 

Martinez knows that every project he is hired for means another paycheck to bring home to help his family. 

“I’m just trying to be a single parent. I'm trying to provide for kids,” said Martinez. 

However, his hard work is paying off, as business is booming. Now clients from all over the county are calling for new construction projects.

Although, with busier schedules, employers like Martinizes, are hoping to retain workers with a pay bump.

“Everything is going up. this is exactly what I needed,” said Martinez. 

Employers even had to get creative, luring their employees with same day with the DailyPay App.

“What we do is now that technology is available, as people work hourly or salary, they can open up an app and see how much money they’ve earned. they don’t have to pay for payday anymore," said Jeaniey Walden, who works for the app company. "It's when you need your money, you can just press the button and take the money out to start saving or pay a gas bill before they get hit with a late fee,” 

According to ADP Research Institute’s most recent report, wages and benefits increased by 4% in 2021. Making it the highest its ever been in 20 years.

ADP reported that wages for construction workers who held their jobs rose 6.1% in December.  

With hospitality seeing an increase of 6.7% for those who held onto their jobs, but construction and those working in the hospitality industry are not the only ones getting a raise. 

Trade and Transportation reported the highest percentage with 6.8%, even employees working in the caretaking industry, like Justin Levins. 

“Back when the pandemic started, we implemented bonuses, to help out our hourly employers and all of our field staff. We also came up with training and signing bonuses,” said Levins, who is part of Behavior Frontiers. Levins is in charge of recruiting behavioral technicians that work with kids diagnosed with autism. 

Retail is also seeing an increase, Target announced it could pay starting wages as high as $24 an hour this year. Adding that it will be doing an even more localized approach to wages, but declined to name the areas that will be getting the highest starting wage. 

However, experts say that while employees see a pay increase, the recent rise in wages may drive up cost for businesses. 

 “if you give the workers a raise at the same level that other prices are rising, then you're probably going to net about even. because wages are gonna go where prices go. nationally and regionally,” said Eli Berman, an economist professor at UC San Diego. 

Which is why experts advise being cautious with spending and recommend looking into services to ease financial stress.

WATCH RELATED: President Biden outlines plan to battle inflation in State of the Union address (March 2022)




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