Walmart Cuts Hours After Raising Wages

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Walmart executives have reportedly been encouraging some stores to cut hours just months after announcing wages would be raised for 500,000 workers. Store officials, though, say that is not what is behind the move to cut hours.

Economist often argue that raising the minimum wage will result in less employment opportunities and reduced hours. Minimum wage laws on the local, state and federal level show this to often be the case. Supporters, however, often argue job loss is limited at best and the economic benefits of less people living in poverty outweigh any possible negative outcomes.

Nevertheless, even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) agrees any increase of the minimum wage will likely result in at least some job loss. Now, according to Bloomberg, some of the same negative outcomes may occur even if companies raise their own wages.

Regional executives have reportedly told store managers this month to reduce expenses by cutting worker hours. The hours cut would be based on sales projections. The move comes after Walmart announced in April that it would raise wages to at least $9 an hour for 500,000 full-time and part-time employees.

Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg, however, says the reduced hours are unrelated to the decision to raise wages. Rather it is due to some stores over projecting their schedules. He also noted the cuts will only impact a small amount of stores.

“We have a small number of stores that were significantly over on scheduling and they are working to come more into line with the hours that they have had available all year,” Lundberg told CNN.

The push to raise the minimum wage has grown in popularity in the past year. It is led primarily by the labor movement and union-backed groups like Fight for $15. With increased public pressure, in the first few months of 2015, Walmart along with McDonald’s, Gap, Target, and TJ Maxx decided to raise wages for their employees.

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