Walmart is raising hourly wages to $14 an hour – up $2 – for 340,000 workers

Walmart is raising hourly minimum wages to $14-an-hour – up $2 – for 340,000 employees as it fights to attract and keep frontline workers

  • Walmart employees in the US will earn a minimum of $14 an hour from February
  • This wage hike will affect 34,000 workers and benefit some more than others
  • The retailer is trying to attract and retain employees in a competitive market

Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will increase its minimum wage for all US employees from $12 to $14 – as demand for labor remains high.

As of next month all Walmart employees will be making at least $14 an hour, and in some stores a minimum of $19 an hour, a spokesperson for the company said.

The change will affect around 340,000 workers in 3,000 stores – around 20 percent of its 1.6 million strong US workforce.

The wage hike will increase the company’s average wage by around 50 cent to $17.50 an hour – which is the same as Costco’s minimum in the US.

The company also announced in a memo from Walmart CEO and President John Furner that it would expand a scheme that enables store workers to become delivery drivers. 

Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will increase its minimum wage for all US employees from $12 to $14 - as demand for labor remains high

Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will increase its minimum wage for all US employees from $12 to $14 – as demand for labor remains high

Walmart CEO and President John Furner (pictured) said the company would expand a scheme that allows store workers to become delivery drivers

Walmart CEO and President John Furner (pictured) said the company would expand a scheme that allows store workers to become delivery drivers

The hikes still leave the retailer lagging behind rivals like Amazon, Costco and Target, which have been offering a minimum pay of at least $15 an hour since 2021. 

Costco officially raised its US minimum wage to $17 an hour in 2021 and on Tuesday its CFO Richard Galanti that the minimum was in fact $17.50, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Unlike Costco, Walmart has a greater number of stores in southeastern states like Texas, Mississippi and Georgia, which haven’t increased state minimum wages in recent years.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and twenty states do not impose a minimum wage above the federal minimum, which according to the Department of Labor has not been raised since 2009.

‘We expect these raises will bring our U.S. average hourly wage to more than $17.50. They’ll be reflected in March 2 paychecks,’ said Furner via a press release.

The wage increases will be made up of a combination of regular annual increases as well as ‘targeted investments in starting rates’, the company said.

The change will affect around 340,000 workers - around 20 percent of its 1.6 million strong US workforce - in about 3,000 stores

The change will affect around 340,000 workers – around 20 percent of its 1.6 million strong US workforce – in about 3,000 stores

The wage increases are expected to increase the average Walmart salary to around $17.50 an hour

The wage increases are expected to increase the average Walmart salary to around $17.50 an hour

This round of hikes come six months after Walmart raised the average pay for pharmacy workers to more than $20 an hour and said it would offer more frequent and automatic pay raises as part of a new ‘progressive wage model’ to fight labor shortages.

It has previously also raised pay for truck drivers and distribution center workers.

The company also announced last week an associate-to-driver scheme that would provide its workers in ‘stores, distribution centers, fulfillment centers’ with routes to become delivery drivers.

It also said on Tuesday it would be expanding that program, ‘which pays for supply chain associates to earn their commercial driver’s license and become a Walmart truck driver earning up to $110,000 in their first year.’

Walmart’s move comes as US wage growth has started to slow. Data from earlier this month showed average hourly earnings growth for workers had dropped to 0.3 percent in December from 0.4 percent the month before.

Unemployment fell to a 5-decade low of 3.5 percent in December, with job openings far outnumbering the number of unemployed.

This has caused speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates yet again, putting further strain on minimum wage workers with limited budgets.

Source

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