Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's the best strategies to argue for a raise. Hosted by Frances Cook.

Whether or not to give a pay rise has become a hot potato.

Unemployment is low, at 4.5 per cent, which would usually mean employees could demand better pay or they'd walk.

And yet, the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show there's not much movement.

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Private sector wages have only gone up 2.1 per cent in the last year, and some of that lift is due to the Government raising the minimum wage by 75 cents.

There are also rumblings that low inflation and low business confidence are making bosses unwilling to part with the extra cash.

So it seems employers aren't wanting to come to the party, despite it becoming an increasingly heated issue.

Just look at the nurses' strikes; they haven't walked off the job in almost 30 years, but they did just that in July, and would have again if they didn't eventually get an agreement nailed down.

Teachers and cops are the next groups making noises about needing more.

Over in the private sector, research by recruitment firm Robert Half has found employers are already seeing increased staff turnover, and are expecting 13 per cent of their staff will find another job this year – that's 340,000 people.

I talked to Strategic Pay CEO John McGill for the Cooking the Books podcast about how employees can make the most of the current situation.

We talked about how to arm yourself with background research, how to approach the conversation, and what arguments your boss will find the most persuasive.

For the interview, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this podcast, or an idea for the next one, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

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