HR News Beat: Target, BoA Increase Worker Pay

Pay Raises Trending_Businessman thinking about his savings during crisis

Companies, regardless of size, are working much harder now to fill open positions. 

To put it in perspective, the U.S. unemployment rate is at an historically low level.  As of March 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor has the rate at 3.8 percent.  Additionally, there are approximately 7 million-plus open positions in the U.S. alone and just over 6 million-plus people to fill those positions leaving around a million open jobs.

As a result, most companies are looking for ways to attract and recruit new workers.  One strategy that might help:  pay increases.  In fact, two major companies have announced plans to increase wages in the last two weeks alone.

Pay Raises

BoA increases worker pay

The most recent is Bank of America.  The financial institution will raise the minimum wage for employees to $20 an hour.  It won’t happen all at once, but over the next two years.  In addition to increasing wages, Bank of America says it will also freeze health care costs for lower paid workers.

According to National Public Radio, the bank says the first increase will come May 1.  At that time, workers receiving minimum wage will see it increase to $17 an hour.  By 2021, those workers will see the rate increase to the full $20 an hour.

In a statement to the media, Bank of America chief human resources officer Sheri Bronstein said the financial institution made the decision because “we believe that to best serve our customers and clients, we need the best teams.”

Target Increases Pay

Last week, Target announced it, too, is increasing the pay of minimum hourly wage employees.  In June, workers will see a one dollar increase to $13 an hour.  That’s for both current and new employees.  The company hopes to hit $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

According to CNBC, Target’s new rate will challenge its rival Walmart.  Right now, Walmart’s minimum wage sits at $11 an hour. 

In a related note, the U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 to $15 an hour.  Amazon supports the legislation.  It increased its pay rate to $15 an hour in November of 2018.

$19 Million Invested in Pay Raises at Atrium Health

The healthcare industry is also seeing pay increases.  In early February 2019, Atrium Health announced it would be investing $19 million in pay increases for more than 15,000 employees.  That happened in March.  Those seeing the pay increases were nurses and those in nursing support roles. Inpatient nurses saw a 5% increase while other eligible nursing support roles saw an increase between two and five percent. 

This is the second year in a row Atrium Health has increased compensation for its teammates.

Atrium Senior Vice President for Workforce Engagement Sebastien Girard is an HR Exchange Network Advisory Board member.