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How Higher Wages Can Lead to Bigger Corporate Profits


The average retail sales job pays only $10.09 an hour, and some retail outlets—notably Walmart, the largest private employer in the world—pay as little as $8.00 per hour. But a handful of large retail companies have made generous compensation a key part of their business models, and it seems to be paying off.

Higher wages across the entire retail industry could be a boon to the national economy, according to Demos policy analyst Catherine Ruetschlin. In November, she issued a report arguing that an industry-wide wage floor of $25,000 could “increase GDP by between $11.8 and $15.2 billion” and “lift 734,000 people out of poverty.”