RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There are two things longtime Raleigh residents know: the city is growing, and it is getting more expensive to live in.

It’s a challenge employers are increasingly facing, including the city of Raleigh.

This week, the city council will consider giving its employees a two percent cost of living adjustment.

If approved, the raise would be effective starting Saturday, April 23. Employees would see the raises reflected on their May 13 paycheck.

How far can 2% go?

An April 2022 Raleigh rent report from Apartmentlist.com, found rent in Raleigh increased 1.3 percent over the past month alone. Rent went up 21.9 percent in the last year.

The latest Consumer Price Index shows Americans are facing the highest inflation rates in 40 years; inflation rates increased by 8.5 percent over the last year.

Just last month, Wake County approved to invest $20 million from American Rescue Plan funding to give employees retention bonuses to stay through the end of the year. County Manager David Ellis, told CBS 17 the turnover rate was at 18 percent, the highest in 18 years.

Bonus amounts are based on how much employees make. County employees making less than $60,000 a year would receive $4,000 in the form of three payments. Those making $100,000 or more, would receive $3,000 if they stayed through the end of the year.

Firefighters protest for higher wages

Under the proposal, starting pay for police recruits and fire recruits starting will increase from $41,068 to $41,889 and from $38,058 to $38,819, respectively.

While city councilmembers decide on these cost of living adjustments, the Raleigh Professional Fire Fighters Association plans to organize a protest demanding more pay. According to demands laid out online, the association wants to see a minimum city wage of $17 an hour. They are also calling for employees to receive competitive compensation for higher education.

City council will meet virtually Tuesday, April 19 at 1 p.m.

Monday morning, the city announced it would move its meeting a virtual setting “Due to health concerns and out of an abundance of caution” after Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin tested positive for COVID-19.

The protest is also scheduled for Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m. The association has not indicated whether it would move the protest.