Macy’s raises hourly wage to $15 and rolls out college tuition to try to win workers

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  • Macy’s said on Monday it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by next May.
  • The department store chain is also adding an education program that will cover 100% of tuition, books and fees.

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Macy’s is the latest retailer to sweeten its profits and wages to attract talent in a tight labor market.

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The department store chain said Monday it would raise its minimum wage for new and existing employees to $15 an hour by next May. Once the higher pay goes into effect, Macy’s average base pay will be upwards of $17 an hour, and the average total wage will be $20 an hour, the company said.

Macy’s is also adding an education benefit that will cover 100% of tuition, books and fees. Macy’s is partnering with Guild Education on the program, which will include a bachelor’s degree, boot camp, English language learning and professional certifications, among other options. Macy’s said it expects the program to cost $35 million over the next four years.

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In doing so, Macy’s joins a growing list of businesses that offer college tuition and textbooks to try to attract workers. Target, Walmart, Chipotle and Starbucks already offer similar perks.

Danielle Kirgan, Macy’s Chief Transformation and Human Resources Officer, said, “This program removes a major barrier to access to education and will help our associates further develop their skills and enhance their careers and earning potential. “

It will be especially important for retailers to have adequate staff around stores and warehouses this holiday season. More shoppers are itching to move out of the house and plan to pile into the mall in search of gifts. Macy’s previously announced that it aims to bring on 76,000 full- and part-time employees during the holidays, which is in line with its pre-pandemic holiday staff.

Macy’s shares are up more than 177% to date, bringing the company’s market cap to $9.7 billion.

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