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Employment Improves and Wal-Mart Raises Some Wages

Feb 19 2015

Walmart

Labor markets improved last week according to government reports showing the number filing for unemployment benefits decreased more than expected. Initial claims came in at 283,000, which was 21,000 people lower than the previous period and lower than anticipated. The general consensus was initial claims would come in closer to 295,000. Some economist have become very optimistic about labor markets while others point to real employment and the low participation rates among other negative signs.

Wal-Mart made a move to improve worker wages by putting aside $1 billion for wage increases to 40% of its  North American work force. This will increase workers pay $1.75 about current minimum wage requirements of $7.25 per hour. One thing that has lagged while new jobs have been found are wage increases for the middle-class. So this major retail announcement on wage improvement was well received.

Lower factory output was also released today which was a  negative on the market and cautioned that foreign economies could be a drag on US improvements.

Thousands of Store Associates at Walmart To Get Pay Raise

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