How can they pay "UP TO" $15 an hour "OR MORE"? Which one is it? I think I'd go for the "MORE".
The official US unemployment rate recently dropped to 3.9%, the lowest since the Pilgrims beached their boat in Massachusetts, before it was Massachusetts. Historically the stats people say 4% is considered "full employment"....anyone who doesn't have a job now just doesn't want to work.
Here in my area of the northern DFW Metroplex (Plano, Frisco, McKinney, etc) they say the unemployment rate is somewhere down in the 2% range. Pizza delivery drivers can get $15 an hour, and McDonald's is begging for help, even offering starting pay of $12+.
Yesterday I was talking with my steel fabrication vendor and he said it was just he and his son....they can't hire and keep help, and they pay very well! My electrician has been trying to hire for 2 years with no luck. Construction material prices are continuing to climb. We try to buy 300 yards of concrete and can't get anyone's attention at the concrete plant....they're shipping tens of thousands of yards daily to commercial construction sites. We're small fry! Any materials with a petroleum base have gone up dramatically along with the recent increase in crude prices. Talk of import tariffs isn't helping, either.
It wasn't long ago that the cost of living in my area was below the national average. Now, according to one report I saw recently, the CoL in my immediate area has surpassed the national average. Property tax bills are hitting homeowners hard after a few years in the doldrums. Standard and Poor's Case Shiller home price index actually says our area's home prices today are OVER valued.
Where am I going with this? "Make hay while the sun shines" as they say, but be cautious. Make all you can while you can, as these good times will eventually go flat just as other overheated good times have in the past. Just recognize where we are in the economic cycle and don't let yourself think this is the "new normal". Remember what happened to those who got fat and sassy back in the run-up to 2008?
Let's all enjoy our good fortune today and be grateful, but not let it go to our head. Been there, done that.