We all know that finding the right candidate to hire is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but keeping your top talent on board is an arduous task as well. Time after time, we hear about how our local small businesses are struggling to find qualified employees that actually want to work. So, I’ve been thinking about why so many employers might be sharing this issue. Yes, it could be that times have changed and our younger employees don’t have a strong work ethic, or it could be that all the talented folk have packed their bags to look for greener pastures. -But my thoughts keep going back to the idea that we just aren’t paying enough.
I’ve recently heard both local small and big business talk about how they pay their employees less because Corpus Christi has a lower cost of living. I agree that it is cheaper to live in C.C. compared to many other places in the U.S., but I’m not so sure that argument could hold up when you compare C.C. to other cities in Texas. So, I’ve done a little bit of research (using Bankrate.com’s calculator) to see how much one would have to make in other metropolitan areas in Texas to enjoy a similar lifestyle to that of living in Corpus Christi making $30,000 a year. Check out these numbers:
City Equivalent Income Increase/Decrease
Corpus Christi $30,000 N/A
Austin $32,662.97 8.8% Increase
Houston $30,233.85 0.78% Increase
Dallas $32,142.56 7.14% Increase
San Antonio $31,129.65 3.77% Increase
It doesn’t really seem that Corpus Christi is that much cheaper than some of the larger cities here in Texas. I also checked out a Web site that allows you find out how much an individual needs to get paid in order to pay their bills and survive in our local area. We all know minimum wage hasn’t increased in years, and $5.15 just isn’t enough. Click here to see how much each one of your employees would need to get paid just to live here in Corpus Christi.
The Texas Workforce Commission has a pretty neat Web site that provides all sorts of labor market information that can help you set the wages you pay your employees.
What are your thoughts? Why do you think finding and keeping good employees is so difficult here in Corpus Christi? Are their special issues that employers face specifically in this region? What kind of assistance would be useful in helping you find a solution?