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Friday’s business headlines

In this image taken from video, shoppers load purchased items into their vehicle Monday, July 31, 2023, at a Walmart in Lincolnton, N.C., where police say migrant workers were intentionally hit by an SUV in the parking lot of the store a day earlier. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

INDANAPOLIS (WISH) — Here is a look at Friday’s business headlines with Jane King.

UAW rejects GM’s offer of 16% pay increase

GM offered a 10% wage hike in contract talks that UAW calls ‘insulting’.

Ford said it had offered a 9% wage increase through 2027 and 6% lump sum payments, much less than the 46% wage hike being sought by the union through September 2027.

The UAW has said 97% of members voted in favor of authorizing a strike if an agreement is not reached.

Walmart cuts starting pay for some new hires

Walmart is paying some new store workers less than it would have three months ago, a sign that employers are seeking to cut labor costs as the once-hot market for hourly staff cools.

Walmart says the change in pay structure allows workers to do different jobs across the store, learning new skills to move up in the company.

Health insurance costs making biggest jump in years

Employers and workers are expected to see an increase of at least 6.5% in health-plan costs next year
That’s according to major benefits consulting firms mercer and willis towers watson.

Hospitals’ higher labor costs and heavy demand for new and expensive diabetes and obesity drugs are to blame.

Microsoft bets on Starfield to drive Xbox sales

Meanwhile, Microsoft bets on its new game, starfield, to drive Xbox sales.

Starfield is an Xbox-exclusive game released this week after seven years in the works.

Record 73 million Americans plan to bet on NFL

The American Gaming Association says it expects a nearly 60% increase from last season.

14% plan to place their bets online as betting becomes legal in more states.

Sports betting is now legal in 34 states including Indiana.