U.S. manufacturers are hiring more workers, boosting wages and increasing domestic investments following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Seventy-two percent of manufacturers are ramping up workers’ wages and benefits, according to a new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Meanwhile, 77% of survey respondents said they were hiring more workers, while 86% are investing more in plants and equipment.
“Manufacturing in America is now rising to new heights, thanks to tax reform, and as a result, manufacturers of all sizes are already investing more, growing more, hiring more and paying more. They are already improving lives and livelihoods,” NAM Board Chair David Farr said in a statement.
Meanwhile, optimism among manufacturers remains near all-time highs. More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers – its most recent quarterly survey revealed.
Following the Republican tax overhaul, many companies are offering bonuses, pay raises and other benefits to employees, but Hostess just announced a particularly “sweet” plan to share the tax cut savings with workers.
Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and other iconic treats, said it would provide one-time $1,250 bonuses to 1,036 hourly employees “following the recently enacted tax legislation.”
The bonuses come in the form of $750 in cash and a $500 401k contribution.
Hostess also said it would select a “product of the week” and provide a multi-pack to every employee every week for one year.
On Sunday, socialist Bernie Sanders went silent on Meet the Press when asked about the billions of dollars of bonuses given to working Americans due to GOP/Trump tax reform.
NANCY CORDES: Senator, the President is giving his first State of the Union address this week and polls show that his biggest achievement so far, the tax cuts, are now gaining in popularity as some of these big companies hand out thousand-dollar bonuses. Are you glad that these people have more money in their pockets?
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Are we having a technical issue here?
NANCY CORDES: Senator, can you hear me? All right. It appears that we have lost our audio connection with Senator Sanders. We’ll take a commercial break and will be right back.
FORD TO AWARD PROFIT-SHARING CHECKS OF $7,500; FIAT TO GIVE $2,000 BONUSES PLUS PROFIT-SHARING CHECKS
Dearborn — Ford Motor Co. will give more than 54,000 United Auto Workers hourly employees profit-sharing checks of about $7,500 this year, the company said Wednesday.
The Blue Oval announced profit-sharing as part of its 2017 earnings. The company made $7.6 billion last year.
Last year, about 56,000 Ford UAW members received a record $9,000. That followed the 2016 profit-sharing results, which were the second-highest to last year’s results.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will report its 2017 earnings Thursday morning. The company is expected to announce profit-sharing amounts then, too. FCA has already said its U.S. hourly employees will receive $2,000 bonuses related to changes to the U.S. tax code.
General Motors Co. reports its earnings results the first week of February.
Home Depot (HD) announced on Thursday that it will pay its U.S. hourly workers a one-time bonus of up to $1,000 tied to President Trump’s tax reform.
“This incremental investment in our associates was made possible by the new tax reform bill,” Craig Menear, chairman and CEO of the company, said in a statement.
The New York-based airline said on Jan. 4 that it would grant a $1,000 to each of its 21,000 crewmembers, with the exception of its CEO and other executives.
“We believe these tax changes will be positive for our company, and provide us the opportunity to do good things for our crewmembers, customers and shareholders,” JetBlue President and CEO Robin Hayes said in a letter to company employees.
Starbucks (SBUX) is giving all of its U.S.-based hourly and salaried workers an unspecified raise in April, in addition to a wage increase already dispersed earlier in the fiscal year, which began last October. Starbucks says it is investing roughly $120 million in the wage increases.
The company is also awarding workers stock grants worth a total of more than $100 million to those employed by the chain as of Jan. 1, 2018. Retail employees will receive at least a $500 grant, while store managers will receive grants of $2,000, the chain said.
The Dallas-based airline is awarding a $1,000 cash bonus to all of its full-time and part-time employees. The bonuses will be distributed on Jan. 8. In addition, Southwest said it will donate $5 million toward charitable causes and partner with Boeing to modernize its fleet of planes.
“We applaud Congress and the President for taking this action to pass legislation, which will result in meaningful corporate income tax reform for the transportation sector in general, and for Southwest Airlines, in particular,” Southwest Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said in a statement. “We are excited about the savings and additional capital, which we intend to put to work in several forms—to reward our hard-working employees, to reinvest in our business, to reward our shareholders, and to keep our costs and fares low for our Customers.”
( CNBC) Disney announced Tuesday it will pay over 125,000 employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000, as well as make a new $50 million investment into education program for employees.
“We are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program,” CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.
Disney says both initiatives are due to recent tax reform. Some of the biggest companies in the United States have been giving out bonuses to employees, often citing the recently-passed tax bill as the motive. Boeing, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Bank of America and Walmart are just a few of those distributing new tax benefits to workers.
The bonus applies any full-time and part-time employees who have been working for Disney since before January 1. Those eligible will receive the bonus in two parts, with one in March and the other in September. Executive level employees are exempt.
Disney’s education initiative will be available to nearly 88,000 hourly employees in the U.S.
( Fox News ) Calling the Trump administration’s tax reform plan a “middle-class tax increase,” two California lawmakers introduced a bill that would force large companies to fork over half of their expected savings to the state.
Assemblymen Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting, both Democrats, introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 22, which calls for a 10 percent surcharge on companies with a net earnings over $1 million. The plan could potentially raise billions for the state’s social services programs.
“It is unconscionable to force working families to pay the price for tax breaks and loopholes benefiting corporations and wealthy individuals,” Ting said in a statement, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “This bill will help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan on everyday Californians by protecting funding for education, affordable health care and other core priorities.”
The paper reported that the two lawmakers face an up-hill battle because Democrats in the state have lost their supermajority in the Legislature.