Bank of America is giving its lowest-paid employees a bump in wages to $22 an hour, equivalent to nearly $46,000 a year for full-time workers.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company’s pay increase bolsters the earnings of a large portion of its 174,000 U.S. employees, and follows wage hikes that started with the bank increasing its hourly base to $15 in 2017, $17 in 2019 and then. BofA previously announced that it plans to gradually raise its base pay to $25 per hour by 2025.
In 2020 (the latest year for which data is available), the median earnings of all U.S. workers 15 and older was $41,535, according to the Census Bureau. For full-time workers, median pay came to $61,417 for men and $50,982 for women, according to the agency, which pegged the poverty threshold for one person in 2020 at $13,171.
BofA’s move comes amid a tight labor market, an ongoing trend has spurred large companies to boost pay in order to attract employees, and surging inflation.
“We continue to invest in our teammates and their priorities through competitive pay; industry-leading benefits and resources for physical, emotional and financial wellbeing; long-term career development tools and programs; and in our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across the company, so that we continue to attract and retain the best talent,” Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at the nation’s second-largest bank, said in a statement.
Should BofA reach its wage target for 2025, its minimum hourly pay will have increased by nearly $14 — a jump of more than 121% since 2010, it said. BofA last year required its U.S. vendors pay their employees who work on the bank’s business at least $15 an hour.
JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank, pays a minimum of $16.50 to $20 an hour, depending on the cost of living in a given geographical area.
In 2015, Amalgamated Bank became the first bank in the country to pay workers including interns, mail room clerks and tellers a. The New York City-based bank, founded nearly a century ago by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, increase that rate to $20 in 2019.