NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — What’s in your wallet for 2020?

The Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy at Old Dominion University predicts some Americans could get a raise this year.

The experts revealed their economic forecast today — and 10 On Your Sides’s Stephanie Harris was there.

The professors predict economic growth for a fourth year in a row.

Even if you haven’t seen the money yet, the professors say this could be the year you make more — here’s why.

“If you’re college-educated or working in the skilled trades, you probably would expect to see wages rise over the next year,” said Robert McNabb, director of Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy.

ODU economists say this is the year to ask for a raise, as the unemployment rate remains at a near-record low.

“Employers have to take steps to retain their employees, which obviously means paying them a little more and taking care of them,” said Vinod Agarwal, director of the Economic Forecasting Project for ODU.

But if you’re not in a skilled trade like welding or plumbing or an “in-demand” STEM career, you might need to look at your skill set and ask some hard questions about whether you’re going to need to go back to school or learn another trade, McNabb said.

There’s some other good news locally.

“We expect the Department of Defense spending to increase this year and possibly will increase next year,” Agarwal said.

That’s good news because 40 percent of the Hampton Roads economy depends on DOD spending.

However, that dependency could put the area’s long-term economic health in jeopardy.

“We’ve hired politicians to watch our house in a fiscal sense and they’ve turned out to be arsonists — they’ve set the fiscal house on fire,” McNabb said.

As for those who are enjoying the Trump tax cuts now, McNabb says those cuts — along with an increase in federal spending — will come back to bite the U.S. economy when interest rates rise on and the debt comes due.

“Now, are they going to cut defense, which would really hurt Hampton Roads or are they going to cut Social Security and Medicare? Which a lot of people won’t like. It’s going to be a hard choice,” McNabb said.

The economists also say this is a good time to buy a house in Hampton Roads.

While the price for a median house is up, mortgage rates remain low and they won’t stay that way forever.

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