After five years of stagnant pay, N.C. State Highway Patrol troopers will receive a 5% to 6% salary increase as part of a $21 billion budget passed by state legislators last week, reports the Charlotte Observer.

Pay for troopers and other state jobs has been mostly frozen since 2009 as North Carolina struggled to balance the budget during the recession.

The 2014-15 budget increases salary for state troopers sworn in between 2005 and June 30 this year by 5% to 6%. Starting salary for troopers is $34,000 and is capped at $57,000.

Trooper Daniel Jenkins Jr., president of the N.C. Troopers Association, said that the 2009 pay freeze "definitely affected our applicant pool and the turnover rate," but that a salary increase should put hiring and employee retention on the right track.

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