Inflation coming?

Getting a signing bonus is often associated with top young athletes. Now, taking a job driving a chemical truck in the U.S. can earn you a signing bonus of as much as $5,000 – and then there are also recruiting bonuses, retention bonuses and safety bonuses.

Those are the tactics that Randy Strutz, president of Quality Carriers in Tampa, Florida, is using to fill positions as unemployment lingers near the lowest level since before the last recession. The situation is cropping up across more industries in the U.S., as businesses feel increasing pressure to offer better wages and incentives to attract workers.

“It’s been a challenge to get good, qualified drivers,” said Strutz, who supervises about 2,500 truckers at the company owned by private-equity firm Apax Partners. “I expect we’ll probably have to spend more money to find applicants.”

Wage and housing costs are the biggest driver of inflation. We will probably see some more inflation soon, and with that, the next rate hike. I am betting on December 2016, another 0.25 hike.

So if you are planning on refinance, hurry the heck up!

Until automation eliminates those jobs. I think we are in low inflation for a long time. Commodities are way below 2008 highs caused by China’s crazy building for the Olympics. Software keeps letting companies do more with less. Low-skilled labor keeps moving to lower cost countries.