GM workers to get profit-sharing bonuses in March

Tracy Samilton Feb 21, 2012

Adriene Hill: Now we head to Michigan, where we’ll be focusing all week on The Real Economy and what’s on voters’ minds as they get ready for next week’s primary.

Our first stop this morning: General Motors. The auto giant had a record year and it’s gonna to spread some of the wealth around. Full-time union workers will get $7,000 bonuses next month. Pretty nice, right? If you’re a GM worker.

But it could also be a nice boost for the economy. Economists think a lot of that money will get spent, which could have welcome ripple effects. Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton reports.

Tracy Samilton: The GM bonuses could pump close to $700 million into the Midwest economy. That’s according to Don Grimes, an economist at the University of Michigan.

Don Grimes: People that sell big-screen TV would probably do pretty well — the auto companies themselves I’m sure are going to have marketing ties to that check, maybe they’ll knock an extra thousand dollars off or something like that.

Depleted state treasuries will get a cut of the bonuses, too, from income and sales taxes.

But not everyone is going on a spending spree. Rhonda Maurer is vice president of Local 22 in Detroit, Mich. She says she’ll put half of her bonus into her 401(k) and half will go to pay off bills.

Rhonda Maurer: I don’t know what the economy holds or my future holds to I want to get as much paid off as humanly possible.

General Motors says, barring the unforeseen, profits should be even better this year.

I’m Tracy Samilton for Marketplace.

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