Walmart is raising its minimum wage to  an hour

Walmart is raising its minimum wage to $14 an hour


Walmart, America’s largest private employer, said Tuesday it will raise its minimum wage from $12 to $14 an hour as it seeks to retain warehouse and warehouse workers in a tight labor market for lower-wage industries.

Walmart has 1.7 million workers in the United States, 94% of whom are hourly employees, according to its most recent annual securities filing. The company hired hundreds of thousands of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic to meet strong consumer demand for groceries and other goods.

In many areas of the country, especially southern states that have not adopted higher wage laws, Walmart’s starting wage often serves as the local minimum wage. The company’s move is likely to have a ripple effect throughout the service industry.

Walmart has for years been a target of criticism from labor groups for low wages, but it has been raising wages in recent years. The latest move will close the gap with Amazon (AMZN), Target (TGT), Costco (COST), and other competitors. Amazon ( AMZN ) and Target ( TGT ) have a $15 minimum wage, while Costco ( COST ) starts at $17 an hour.

Walmart’s wage hike shows pressure on chains to raise wages in a labor battle. Walmart is trying to keep up with competitors as well as cities and states that are raising their minimum wages. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country at $15.74.

While many companies, including Walmart, have laid off corporate staff in recent months, demand for service industry workers remains strong. Walmart currently has nearly 30,000 store jobs listed on its hiring website.

The number of job openings stood at 10.5 million in November, according to the latest reading from the Labor Department, very high by historical standards and well above the 6 million unemployed people looking for jobs that month. . More than 1 million jobs were open in the retail sector.

“The labor market is always competitive, especially at this level. Hourly workers are still hard to come by, and companies are continuing to compete for them by raising wages,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in an email.

Walmart US head John Furner said Tuesday in a memo that the company’s wage increase will “ensure that we have attractive wages in the markets we operate.”

The company’s move also comes as many low-wage workers need bigger paychecks to deal with rising food costs, housing and other inflationary pressures.

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