T-Mobile employees are getting a new hourly minimum wage of $20, according to an announcement Friday by the CEO, coming at a time when the purchasing capacity of Americans keeps going down due to a 39-year high inflation rate.
CEO Mike Sievert said that the move was about providing a competitive wage for everyone, including new team members. T-Mobile has around 75,000 employees, as of 2020, and this raise is applicable to all full-timers and part-time staff. The Washington-based telecom provider currently services close to 107 million customers in the country.
“The truth is, the vast majority of our employees already earn well above this level, especially when including incentive pay. But this move is about inclusion, and we wanted to draw a line that ensures no employee is left behind,” said Sievert in a news release.
The company has also invested $22.4 million in benefits for nearly 7,000 employees to help with education. Currently, many companies across the country are increasing minimum pay and improving benefits packages in a bid to retain employees.
Tyson Foods, the biggest meat seller in the United States, recently announced 36-hour pay for working just 27 hours, while spending $50 million in year-end bonuses for frontline workers. Airline companies are offering thousands of dollars for signing up to join the workforce, and doling out significantly enhanced benefits for those staying back and working during the holidays.
The Great Resignation has seen workers quitting jobs voluntarily in the hopes of getting better pay and benefits, and companies are doing everything they can to prevent staff shortages, especially during the busy holiday season.
“It’s a job-seekers’ market, which means competition to keep and find top talent is competitive—and as a great employer, we like it that way. Employees want the entire package,” Sievert wrote.
“After we rolled out this increased minimum hourly pay rate in our Customer Care group a few months ago and went from receiving 300 applications a week to 4,000–a 1,200+% increase!” claimed Sievert. He added that the pandemic and a merger have created a critical situation where attracting and retaining “top talent is a challenging goal for leaders,” referring to the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile that concluded in 2020.
T-Mobile had lost staff, which, according to Callie Field, T-Mobile’s chief customer experience officer, was because of the pandemic and the Sprint merger. “It had a bigger impact than I anticipated,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We lost a lot of our staff.”
The company’s hike from $15 to $20 is expected to help in its bid to fill 5,000 available positions during the next 18 months.
A Survey of Consumer Expectations done last month by the New York Federal Reserve revealed that people expect inflationary increases in prices for goods and services to rise at double the rate as wages.