More employers increasing pay as inflation continues amid pandemic

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As we enter a new year, many employers on the High Plains and across the U.S. are raising wages for employees as the pandemic will enter a third year soon.

Dr. Neil Meredith, an associate professor of economics at West Texas A&M University, said the pandemic is driving much of the economic change we are seeing.

“It disrupts global supply chains and so, you know, we’re just trying to weather the storm of covid-19 and, you know, do the best we can,” said Dr. Meredith.

Steve Hoyl, the owner of Hoyl Financial, said people need more money, especially to account for skyrocketing inflation. He said his company gave raises last year.

“You know, money is not going as far. Inflation is the silent killer, and it’s just corroding people’s paychecks. I mean, if you look at 2021, inflation rose to 6.8%. That’s the highest since 1982.”

Dr. Meredith said there could be some negative impacts but he said small pay increases likely will not cause major economic issues.

“It means more income for those families. Of course, that increase in income may be offset by price increases in staples, like groceries, for instance. That, you know, we’re seeing some across the board with inflation…”

Dr. Meredith said he is hopeful we will enter a more endemic phase soon, stabilizing these economic conditions.

“A lot of people are dealing with a very difficult situation and so, let’s just take it one day, one week, one month at a time, and hopefully things will calm down to some extent,” said Dr. Meredith.

Until then, some employers might have to pay more to be competitive.

“..It’s really important, but I think it’s going to be tough for smaller businesses that covid has had a large impact,” said Hoyl.

Hoyl encouraged anyone who receives a pay raise or even a tax increase this year to work to save more for future emergencies, especially as this pandemic is not over.

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