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Local businesses don’t see difference in job applicants after minimum wage increase

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:14 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Help wanted signs can be seen everywhere in Bay County as businesses continue to have issues finding people to apply. The minimum wage increase was hoped to be an incentive to help this issue.

“Went into effect on the 30th, so about two weeks now. No noticeable change, not really,” Pineapple Willy’s manager Jacob Newsome said.

Floridians voted in November 2020 to raise the minimum wage from $8.65 to $10. Since it took effect, workers at many local businesses say everything is still pretty much status quo.

“As of now I don’t see a real big difference since the minimum wage did increase,” Wonderworks sales manager Paula Fredrick said.

“We’ve always paid above minimum wage, so it hasn’t affected us so much,” said Newsome.

The Panama City Metropolitan Statistical Area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. It ranked 23 out of the 24 MSA’s in the state as of September 17th.

“We’ve been able to make it through the summer, one of the busiest summers we’ve had. we made it through okay,” said Newsome.

A busy summer that’s expected to keep going even through the fall.

“Going into the slower season, but we’re always looking to hire,” said Fredrick.

And there’s no shortage of hiring opportunities on the beach.

We reached out to CareerSource Gulf Coast Monday for trends they’ve been seeing since the minimum wage increase, but we did not hear back.

The state’s minimum wage will increase a dollar a year until it’s at $15 an hour by 2026.

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