HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) – Hobby Lobby announced they will be raising their starting minimum wage for full-time workers in the new year up to $18.50. This comes with the increasing demand to find people to work across all sectors.

David Cohen, owner of the Whole Scoop in Hoover, said retail can’t directly be compared with the food and beverage industry.

Dish washers and vegetable cutters may start off making $8 to $10 an hour, eventually growing and training to higher rates and roles when moving out to the front of the shop from tips, working to gain the necessary skills on the job. For many workers in the industry, this may be their first job.

Cohen said the food and beverage industry also differs from retail because perishable items have a shorter life than a retail item.

“It is tough, and we work hard,” Cohen said. “We’re entrepreneurs, which means we’re risk-takers, we’re in it. We’re in it all the way. You can’t go into the food and beverage business halfway. Everybody I know works their operation.”

The federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25, a rate that hasn’t been raised since 2009.

Earlier this year, PNC Bank raised its minimum pay rate from $15 to $18 per hour while Bank of America announced its hourly wage will reach $25 by 2025Chipotle and Southwest Airlines increased their minimum hourly wage to $15 this summer while Starbucks and CVS Health will do the same by summer 2022. Ikea recently raised its starting wages for U.S. workers to $16 per hour.

These pay increases come as inflation remains high in the U.S., with consumer prices rising 6.8%, a 39-year high, for the 12 months ending in November.

Additionally, employers are also facing the “Great Resignation,” a trend of people not only being pushed out of work by layoffs but quitting of their own volition.