Thursday, February 19, 2015

Walmart boosts wages

Big news from Walmart, on top of falling prices we now have rising wages!  Today the nation's largest retailer announced that it was going to make sure that all of its US workers would earn at least $9 an hour by April.  According to NYT, this is likely to affect half a million employees.  It will certainly be a big boost to those earning the minimum wage.

Walmart's motivation is most likely competitive pressure.  The unemployment rate keeps dropping, which means employers are competing for fewer applicants.  Walmart's move is likely to put more pressure on firms such as Target and Home Depot to raise pay.

There also is a chance that the wage increase pay for itself.  As MBA 505 students know, a higher wage reduces turnover and thus reduces hiring and training costs.  A higher wage also should be associated with higher standards for individual productivity.

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