Is there anything like inflation on Tropico? ... If everyone expected pay increases regulary, you have to be a computer yourself to handle it. The game would definitely need some kind of automation for this, or caculating wages would quickly add to the dull activities of every game.
The game uses a very simplistic mechanic (mentioned by Alastar) to introduce an "off-island" influence on the pay rates. The Caribbean average pay rate increases on a 'straight line' progression. It is more or less steep based on the economic difficulty setting. Interestingly, the sale price of goods is fixed - except for the Trade Delegations and Random Events. So as time passes it becomes a little harder to make money.
The mechanic is not that people "expect a regular pay increase" -- rather they gradually lose job happiness if their individual pay is low:
- relative to world (Caribbean Average)
- relative to other workers of my job type
- relative to other island workers
- relative to everything (average of other three?)
Since pay is not the only factor which determines job happiness, the urgency and regularity of pay increases varies among the jobs.
Surprisingly, many players really love micromanaging pay, rents, and entertainment fees.
Mooski's suggestion about use of the Immigration Office to stop emigration doesn't do anything for job happiness.