MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — All Myrtle Beach city employees could be in line for pay raises as soon as July 1.

City staff have proposed for pay increases to take effect for next fiscal year.

The city said the average pay increase for all roughly 1,000 city employees is close to 9%. The smallest pay increase is 2%.

The new minimum hourly wage would be $15.75 an hour, which is a hair over $3 more than the current minimum of $12.71

The pay increase is to make the city more competitive in the job market, according to city spokesperson Mark Kruea.

“We’ve taken each position and said, ‘This is what the market requires for this position, and we want to be at the 75th percentile so that we are competitive,’ and that’s where this plan gets us,” Kruea said.

The average pay increase in the city’s police department is around 12%. The new minimum for a police officer would be $47,752, which is more than the current base of $41,600.

The proposed salary floor for police officers would be the highest in South Carolina, according to city officials.

The police department has close to 50 openings, and Master Cpl. Tom Vest said the proposed pay increase would help with recruitment and retention of officers.

“We have several fantastic law enforcement agencies here in the region, and we have to put a package together that really entices the best quality to come to us, and this proposal does that,” Vest said.

The proposal is part of the $292 million dollar budget proposed for the next fiscal year. The city council would have to approve the increases after two readings.

The public hearing for the entire budget is scheduled for June 10.