Highly paid workers see bulk of wage increase, report says


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Over the past couple of years, different workers in Iowa have experienced different patterns of wage growth because of the actions that certain businesses take to become more successful, according to a recent report.

According to an Iowa Policy Project report, higher paid workers have received the bulk of wage increases over the past decade in Iowa, and lower paid workers have seen their wages remain static or even decline.

This means lower-class workers are worse off than they were a few years ago as the cost of living increases, the report said.

Iowa City City Assessor Dennis Baldridge said the city’s wage increases are based on performance and the cost of living.

“The wages in our office are on a percentage basis,” he said. “While the numbers are different, the percentages are the same.”

DaLayne WiIliamson, the workforce business services director for the Iowa City Area Development Group, said it is true that those with higher skills are in greater demand, so it is up to employers to pay these workers accordingly.

“Jobs tend to require more skills now because of how technology has been infused into jobs,” she said.

Williamson said workers of lesser skills are in less demand in the job world.

“The days of coming out of high school and into the workforce with little skill are going away,” she said.

This simply means businesses require more skilled workers in order to run more efficiently and to be successful.

Local bars and restaurants such as the Summit, 10 S. Clinton St., are places where workers’ wages may be in contrast to other businesses.

The skills to help run the establishment are given to the workers in the form of in-house training, said Brad Temple, the Summit manager.

Workers are also required to obtain I-PACT certification and partake in the Raise the Bar program if they wish to work at Summit.

Temple said with a workforce consisting mainly of college students, “workers are given hourly wages and tips,” while non-tipped workers are paid extra.

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