Ikea, the Scandinavian behemoth of cool-and-cheap furniture, announced Thursday that it will be raising its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $10.76 an hour.
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Ikea's CFO Rob Olson denied any political agenda. "We're more focused on our co-workers and doing the right thing for them," he told the Huffington Post.
But the move comes at a time when many American businesses are raising pay, and President Obama has proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The current minimum wage stands at $7.25 and totals $15,000 a year for someone working a 40-hour week.
A report from the Congressional Budget Office says that paying employees $10 an hour could significantly lift people out of poverty but could also stifle job growth and drive companies to hire fewer workers, or even result in layoffs.
In the meantime, Gap Inc. also announced a wage raise to $9 an hour that took effect last week and that will jump to $10 next year. "We have very good people today, but to attract and retain the best talent we have to make sure we invest in them," Glenn K. Murphy, the clothing company's chief executive, said in a statement. Since raising the wage, the company says that it has seen a leap in job applications.
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