ALABAMA (WHNT) — People all over north Alabama are feeling the pinch of inflation. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest figures.

Inflation was actually down slightly for the month of August, dipping to 8.3% over 8.5% in July. However, consumer prices and grocery prices are up significantly over the last year.

People around Huntsville tell News 19 it can be a struggle sometimes.

“With rent being as high as it is, and utilities and stuff like that, it’s like we can’t catch a break,” said LaWanda Phillips.

Phillips said it’s hard to juggle bills with groceries when they all seem to be going up.

“Our rent went up almost $400 within a month or so,” Phillips said.

Joaquen Woods lives in Scottsboro, but commutes to Huntsville for work. She said because of high gas prices, she’s had to start budgeting.

She also feels for others who are left to make tough financial decisions.

“I say like some days it’s really a decision of what you’re going to take up,” Woods said. “I know a lot of people have to rearrange their bills and get extensions and things of that nature, just so that they can put food on the table, and I don’t think anybody should have to decide what they have to do, so they can eat.”

Those decisions are even harder for people who rely on a minimum wage salary. There is no designated minimum wage in Alabama, so it follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

News 19 asked Woods and others if they think the minimum wage in Alabama should go up or stay the same.

“It should be increased,” Woods said. “I would say at least $13, $14 an hour, to give everybody a fighting chance to be able to stand on their own two feet.”

Huntsville resident Barry Dunnavant also weighed in.

“It has to go up, with inflation and the cost of living, rent, and everything that’s going up, and you know, it’s for the common good,” Dunnavant said.

Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said, “$7.50, $7.25 an hour, you really can’t live off of that, and I’ll be honest with you, it’s hard to live off of $12.”

This comes as the Morgan County Commission voted to approve a 5% cost of living raise for full-time Morgan County employees. That raise will go into effect on October 9, 2022. The commission also voted to approve the minimum wage for part-time county workers to $12.50 an hour.

The chairman said typically they approve 2% raise for employees, but given the economy and leftover funding in the budget, they were happy to increase it.

“It’s important for us too when we have the funds to give back to our employees to let them know we appreciate the job they’re doing,” he said.

When Alabama Governor Kay Ivey visited north Alabama on Monday for the ribbon cutting of a new production facility we asked her what can be done in Alabama to battle inflation.

“Well I’ve tasked our Finance Director Bill Poole and his team to dig deep into what we can do to fight inflation, but one of the things that we’re doing like we did today brings great firms together like this and provide quality jobs for our people,” Governor Ivey said.

“So if our people want to work, goodness knows they’ve got the opportunity, they’ve just got to step up and go to work because the opportunity is here,” she continued.

News 19 also asked the governor if she thinks it’s time to raise the minimum wage in Alabama. She said, “that’d have to be a legislative initiative, but we’ll surely work with them and see where that goes.”