Microsoft doubles budget for employee salaries to address inflation, retain talent

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Microsoft plans to boost salaries and benefits to retain its talent in the competitive labor market as decades-high inflation has sapped the buying power of American workers.

The Seattle-based tech giant said Monday it would “nearly double” its budget for employee pay as part of its retention efforts. Microsoft is also increasing the range of its stock-based compensation by at least 25%.

“This increased investment in our worldwide compensation reflects the ongoing commitment we have to providing a highly competitive experience for our employees,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Post.

The increases will mostly apply to early and mid-career Microsoft employees, according to Bloomberg. The company had 103,000 workers in the US as of last June and another 78,000 around the world.

Microsoft said the changes mostly apply to early and mid-career employees.
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“As we approach our annual total rewards process, we are making a significant additional investment this year to compensate our employees globally,” Microsoft said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.

“While we have factored in the impact of inflation and rising cost of living, these changes also recognize our appreciation to our world-class talent who support our mission, culture and customers, and partners.”

The higher cost of living is just one of several considerations for firms such as Microsoft and its rivals – all of which are faced with the challenge of filling job roles during a period of high worker leverage that has become known as the “Great Resignation.”

Microsoft currently has a hybrid work policy and managers have to approve schedules in which employees work from home more than 50% of the time.

“People come to and stay at Microsoft because of our mission and culture, the meaning they find in the work they do, the people they work with, and how they are rewarded,” the Microsoft spokesperson told The Post.

Microsoft New York office
Microsoft is also boosting stock-based compensation.
Getty Images for Leaders

Inflation surged to a higher-than-expected 8.3% in April and has remained persistent for months, sapping worker wage gains and adding pressure to household budgets.

The cost of rent in major cities such as New York has surged. The most recent Consumer Price Index showed that shelter costs rose 5.1% year-over-year and 0.5% compared to March – the highest rate of annual increase since 1991.

Prices for staple items such as gas and groceries are also on the rise.

In February, Amazon doubled its base pay limit for corporate employees to $350,000. At the time, the company described contending with a “particularly competitive labor market.”

Tech giants aren’t the only companies rolling out new efforts to attract and retain talent.

As The Post reported, Walmart is rolling out a pilot program aimed at recent college grads that will put them on track for store manager roles that pay up to $210,000 per year.

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