(NEXSTAR) – Americans are facing inflation levels not seen since the early 1980s, causing the price of nearly everything to rise. With paychecks not stretching as far these days, one national employer is preparing to give its employees bonuses totaling $55 million.
While sharing second-quarter sales and earnings results Wednesday, Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin R. Ellison said the incremental bonus will go to hourly front-line associates to help them “during this period of high inflation.”
“These associates have the most important jobs in our company, and we deeply appreciate everything they do to serve our customers to deliver a best-in-class experience,” Ellison said during Wednesday’s call, The Washington Post reports.
Lowe’s did not immediately return Nexstar’s request for comment. A spokesperson told The Washington Post that employees will receive the bonus in early September.
The home improvement retailer currently employs more than 300,000 people, the company’s website says.
Lowe’s isn’t alone in trying to give its employees some relief – Exxon Mobil, the T. Rowe Price Group, and Microsoft are among those opting for midyear raises or bonuses as they not only face inflation but competitive job markets.
America’s consumers, whose spending accounts for nearly 70% of U.S. economic activity, have remained mostly resilient even with year-over-year inflation near a four-decade high, rising economic uncertainties, and the surging costs of mortgages and borrowing money. Still, overall spending has weakened, and it has shifted increasingly toward things like groceries, and away from less necessary things like electronics, furniture, and new clothes.
Inflation continues to pose a severe hardship for many families. Though gasoline prices have fallen from their heights, food, rent, used cars, and other necessities have become far more expensive, beyond whatever wage increases most workers have notched.
Despite a still-robust job market, the U.S. economy shrank in the first half of 2022, raising fears of a potential recession. Growth has been weakening largely as a consequence of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes, which are intended to cool the economy and tame high inflation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.