COLORADO SPRINGS — People in Colorado Springs who have worked the same job for the last year have likely received a pay increase. That's according to data from the Federal Reserve.
It's welcoming news for Colorado Springs workers, as the average wage across the city has steadily been on the rise since the pandemic. A local economist says that wage growth is because of higher prices and record-breaking inflation.
“That's what businesses have found is that, there there are a lot of complaints saying, ‘we can't hire and retain workers,’ and the solution to that is to offer higher wages,” said Dr. Bill Craighead, the program director for the UCCS Economic Forum.
As of July, the average wage for local private sector employees is $34.76. It went up $4 from $30.77 cents one year ago.
Dr. Craighead says the areas seeing the fastest wage growth are in the service industry, like restaurants, hotels, and retail…
“I think that's where the the labor markets been, has been the tightest,” said Dr. Craighead.
Inflation is now forcing businesses to pay more to attract and retain employees. On the downside, Dr. Craighead said the higher wages could also hurt small businesses already struggling.
“That's obviously not easy for a lot of small businesses. So business owners are not happy about that trend, but it certainly benefits to workers,” said Dr. Craighead.
In Denver, the average wage is about $4 more. Dr. Craighead said that's because Denver has a higher cost of living than Colorado Springs. He also said more people have college degrees in Denver than in the Springs.
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