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More Companies Following Wal-Mart’s Lead In Raising Wages

Another company has announced that it will be following the lead of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and raising wages for its lowest paid employees. TJX Cos., the owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods stores, has said that it will be raising workers’ wages to a minimum of $9 by June of this year and to $10 in 2016. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company operates 3,395 stores and has about 191,000 associates.

TJX has declined to disclose what the company’s workers currently earn in wages. However, a recent report compiled by Credit Suisse estimated that the company’s hourly workers earn an average of $8.24 an hour. Hourly workers will see the pay increase in their checks starting in June. The announcement from TJX comes roughly a week after Wal-Mart made an announcement stating that the company would be raising wages for its employees this year.

Wal-Mart has been under increased scrutiny in recent years for its low wage model that pushed many of its lowest paid workers onto public assistance to make ends meet. Wal-Mart is currently the nation’s largest private-sector employer, with more than 1.3 million workers in the United States.

Wal-Mart said that more than a third of its work force employed at Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club stores, roughly 500,000 full-time and part-time associates, would be eligible for the pay increases. It is expected that the wage increases and other employment improvements would cost Wal-Mart roughly $1 billion during the current fiscal year.

As the economy has improved in the United States in the years after the financial crisis that began in 2008, retailers paying low wages to its workers have had trouble attracting and retaining employees. While the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, the Obama Administration has proposed raising it to $10.10 an hour. A number of states have already raised the minimum wage amount for employees in their states and more are expected to follow in the coming years.

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