AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A recovering economy means that more employers are willing to give raises. But only in certain industries.
Among the industry standouts are oil and gas, temp workers, high tech companies, trucking and construction. They’ve all seen growth and report rising wages.
“My stage in the career, I think we are doing fine. And we have a union that works hard for us, and we get raises. I can’t complain,” said UMass Amherst Professor Richard Ellis.
Among the industries lagging behind. Retail. Consumers are spending a little more, but that’s not translating into higher wages for workers, many of who make minimum wage, or just a little more.
Massachusetts is on its way to an $11 minimum wage by 2017. But that leaves some workers who make just a little more than that, wondering what happens to them.
“It’s a little pricey. I feel like I earned my way through the time I spent making minimum wage. What’s going to happen to me along with everyone else. Am I going to get a raise along with everyone else?” asked Victoria Woodburn.
Other lagging industries include fast food, the arts, and government workers.
Steve Knapheide of Palmer told 22News, “There are more people looking for work than they have jobs for. So I think they are using it to their advantage. If you don’t want the job at this rate, then maybe there are five or 10 people behind you who would.”
As a whole, wages are rising about 2% a year…rougly equal with inflation and the rising cost of goods.
Still, some experts say things are getting better. More people are willing to quit their jobs in search of higher pay, and a third of small businesses say they plan to raise wages within six months.