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Macy’s hikes minimum wage; to offer debt-free college tuition

Macy’s is increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Macy’s is increasing wages and benefits as it competes for employees amid the labor shortage.

The department store giant is raising its company-wide minimum wage for new and current employees to $15 an hour. The increase has already been phased in across several markets and will be in place nationally by May 2022.

Macy’s noted that, last summer, it increased the minimum wage $15 an hour rate for all distribution center employees. The retailer said its average base pay will eventually be above $17 an hour and average total pay will be $20 an hour. (Minimum wages vary by state, and in certain cases, employees are entitled to commissions and overtime pay.)

Additionally, Macy’s corporate and hourly employees will receive one additional flexible paid holiday “to support their well-being and provide further flexibility to take a day off on a holiday that is most important to them.”

In education benefits, starting in February 2022, Macy’s will provide a debt-free education benefit program to employees, investing approximately $35 million during the next four years. The program will be available for all U.S.-based, regular, salaried and hourly colleagues. It will cover 100% of tuition, books and fees for a wide range of options, including courses for high school completion, college prep, English language learning, associate and bachelor’s degrees, bootcamps and professional certificates within Macy’s debt-free network. Other retailers offering debt-free college education include Starbucks, Target and Walmart.

“As we continue our transformation to be a digitally led omnichannel retailer, a critical component of our growth includes investing in our talent and enhancing all aspects of their Macy’s, Inc. experience with a strong focus on advancement opportunities, culture and engagement,” said Danielle Kirgan, chief transformation and human resources officer at Macy's. “As a company, we’re driven by our mission to enable our colleagues’ success and be the preferred employer everywhere we do business, with competitive pay and benefits rooted in principles of equity.”

In August, Macy’s reported second-quarter earnings that crushed estimates and raised its full-year guidance as shoppers returned to its stores.

Macy’s said it partnered with a leading education and upskilling platform, Guild Education, to build the tuition-free program and help Macy’s colleagues “gain the skills, knowledge and experience they needed to achieve their professional goals without financial barriers.”

“This program removes a major barrier to accessing education and will help our colleagues to further develop their skills and grow their careers and earning potential,” Kirgan said.

Macy’s said it has achieved greater than 99% pay equity across gender and, in the U.S., across race in 2021. In addition, the company has made continued investments to benefit its colleagues in recent years, including pay adjustments and recognition programs. In 2020, Macy’s implemented additional incentives to thank colleagues for their vital work and efforts during immensely difficult circumstances through special incentives, bonuses and “hero pay. Macy’s also offers spot bonuses year-round for colleagues who go above and beyond.

“At Macy’s, Inc., our commitment to culture and employee engagement has never been stronger, and we are energized by a 90% engagement rate in our companywide survey of our more than 100,000-colleague population,” said Kirgan. “By investing in our colleagues’ education and financial well-being, we’re determined to make it possible for them to bring the best of themselves to work every day and to enable them to pursue their own aspirations within and outside of Macy’s, Inc.”

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