Major U.S. corporations are rewarding their employees with generous mid-year bonuses, on top of handouts at the close of last year, as they are concerned about retaining talent in a tight job market.
With inflation running at a 40-year high not seen in two generations, bosses are also sensitive to their workers' cost of living, according to reports in major business publications.
Worldwide, Microsoft is nearly doubling its merit-based raises. ExxonMobil gave its U.S. employees a 3% raise in June, and will triple the number of workers eligible for stock grants. This month, PricewaterhouseCoopers workers will get raises, in line with the performance of its fiscal year just ended, the Wall Street Journal reports
These mid-year paydays are on top of nearly a quarter, 23%, of companies doling out bonuses at the end of last year. To put that in perspective, those bonuses were up from 12% in 2020, according to executive search firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
Google, for instance, gave all of its employees, including interns, a one-time $1,600 bonus at the end of 2021, CNBC reports
. Tyson meatpacking workers got holiday bonuses of $300 to $700 — on top of raises and more flexible work hours.
Companies in high-demand sectors, like trucking, warehousing and logistics firm Lansdale Warehouse Co., increased its workers' wages 8%-12% — both in 2020 and yet again in 2021. This year, with so many people sensitive to the price of gasoline, it is handing out $25 and $50 gift cards to Wawa, a gas and convenience chain in its home state of Pennsylvania.
So far in 2022, companies have increased their workers' pay by 4.8%, with one-third planning or handing out mid-year raises, according to compensation advisory firm Pearl Meyer. For 17% of companies, bonuses in 2022 will top those of 2021, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas.
This extra cash is making 69% of workers happy with with current wages and putting a smile on the faces of 80% of those fortunate enough to get a pay bump, a CNBC survey found.
However, human resources executives tell WSJ, if the economy worsens, they'll become more selective about pay raises, bonuses, even gift cards or other concessions.
Inflation in the U.S. is currently 8.6%, and unemployment, 3.6%.
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