Business owner picks up gas tab for employees amid soaring inflation, labor shortages

Driftwood Garden Center CEO Craig Hazelett explained on Wednesday what prompted him to raise the cost of gas for his employees, though he said it was “certainly affecting the bottom line.”

Driftwood Garden Center, which has stores in Florida, employs 104 people, and the CEO noted that starting in February he gave his full-time employees an extra $50 per paycheck for gas and his part-time employees $30.

Hazelett noted that in April he had raised the wages of these workers by 20 to 30 percent.

“We decided we had to do something just because of the difficulty finding employees right now,” Hazelett said on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Wednesday, adding that he didn’t want to lose the existing workers he had. ‘he had. .


On Wednesday, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline slid again, remaining below the $5 threshold.

Gas hit $5 a gallon over a week ago.

The price was down a fraction to $4.86, according to AAA, which is still about 20 cents higher than the previous month.

Millions of Americans struggled financially as inflation remained painfully high in May, with consumer prices hitting a new four-decade high that exacerbated the situation.

The Labor Department said earlier this month that the Consumer Price Index, a broad measure of the price of everyday goods, including gas, groceries and rents, rose by 8.6% in May compared to a year ago. Prices jumped 1% in the month-long period from April. Those figures were both higher than the headline figure of 8.3% and the monthly gain of 0.7% predicted by economists at Refinitiv.

The data marks the fastest pace of inflation since December 1981.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline slid again, remaining below the $5 threshold. (iStock/iStock)

Price increases were widespread: Energy prices rose 3.9% in May from the previous month and 34.6% from a year ago. Gasoline costs on average 48.7% more than a year ago and 7.8% more than in April. In total, fuel prices jumped 16.9% in May on a monthly basis, pushing the year-on-year increase to 106.7%.

Meanwhile, according to the latest available data, Americans continued to leave jobs at a rapid pace in April, underscoring how continued turmoil in the job market has made it difficult for employers to fill vacancies.


The number of job vacancies fell slightly to 11.4 million at the end of April – the second highest level on record, but lower than the upwardly revised figure of 11.8 million in March. There is a gap of around 5.46 million between openings and the number of workers available, suggesting that the labor market is still extremely tight. This is below the difference of about 5.6 million in March.

Hazelett told host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday that he plans to continue paying gas for his employees “as long as we need it.”

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