Bank of America is raising its minimum hourly wage to $22 – so many people aren’t paying anywhere near that much

Bank of America employees will get a pay rise in late June when minimum wages rise to $22 as part of the big bank’s long-standing plan to raise its starting rate to $25 by 2025.

This is good news for the bank’s staff at a time when inflation continues to drive up the cost of living. Bank of America BAC,
has nearly 166,000 US employees and about 15% will see higher paychecks because of the minimum wage increase, a spokeswoman said.

But the big bank’s pay rise — which equates to a $45,000 annual salary — might feel like an out of reach number for people working elsewhere.

That’s because the $22 rate is more than three times the state minimum wage of $7.25, which lawmakers last increased in 2009. And $22 goes beyond the $15 an hour that so many workers advocate if they don’t already have it.

According to this, an estimated 51.9 million American workers earn less than $15 an hour Oxfam, a global poverty charity. More than 150 million nonfarm payrolls work in America, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics The Federal Reserve’s Bank of St. Louis.

Average hourly earnings in April were $31.85, according to the St. Louis Fed Data.

Bank of America announced the $21 hike on the same day that gas prices broke a new national median record again.

Oxfam’s March report found that minority workers make up the vast majority of people earning less than $15. Researchers said 47% of blacks earned less than $15, compared to 26% of whites.

Half of all employed women of color made less than $15 an hour, the study found, calling its findings “shameful.”

In 2022, workers in 25 states were poised for minimum wage increases. California had the highest national minimum wage of $15, although Seattle, Washington set its rate at $17.27. That leaves a large number of states where the minimum hourly wage, according to Dedepartment of work.

In 2020, there were 1.1 million workers earning $7.25 or less, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics said last year. The results should be taken with caution, however, as the number reflects the impact of the pandemic, which devastated the market for lower-paid service sector jobs in the early stages of COVID-19.

In an extremely tight job market, Bank of America’s announcement Monday framed the increase in the minimum wage from $21 to $22 as an attempt to attract and retain workers. “Our focus on being a great place to work is at the core of everything we do and underscores the role our teammates play in our success,” said Sheri Bronstein, the bank’s chief human resources officer, in a statement.

But the rising price backdrop is inevitable.

Exhibit A: Bank of America announced the $21 hike on the same day that gas prices again broke a new national median record, this time for $4.59 AAA — and it’s not even Memorial Day yet.

President Joe Biden wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 and has already done so signed an executive order thus, this rate applies to federal employees and contractors. But in a tightly divided Senate, some say turning this into law could be a difficult task.

Bank of America stock is down nearly 20% so far this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
is down almost 13% and the S&P 500 SPX,
down more than 17% year-to-date. Bank of America is raising its minimum hourly wage to $22 – so many people aren’t paying anywhere near that much

Brian Lowry

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