Despite layoffs in the tech industry, Walmart recently announced it would increase hourly employee pay again. This move highlights the continued tightness of the front-line labour market. The retail behemoth, which is the largest private employer in the United States, revealed on Tuesday that it is boosting the minimum wage for store employees to $14 per hour, or a nearly 17% increase for those who stock shelves as well as provide customer service. The hourly wage for retail employees will range from $14 to $19 starting in early March. According to Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield, they currently make between $12 and $18 per hour.
As per Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner, the retailer’s average hourly wage in the United States is anticipated to increase to around $17.50 as a result of the move. The average hourly wage has increased to $17 now. Hatfield further stated that the modification will result in pay increases for some 340,000 store staff. For the 1.6 million workers at Walmart, that equates to a wage raise of about 21%.
Furner noted in Walmart’s employee memo that many employees’ annual raises will include the wage hike. Store workers who are employed in parts of the country where the labour market is more competitive will also receive a portion of the salary increases. Walmart is also improving additional benefits to attract and keep workers.
Furner stated that the business is expanding its Live Better U project, which pays for part-time and full-time employees’ tuition and expenses, by adding more college degrees and certificates. Additionally, it is hiring people to work as truck drivers, who can earn up to $110,000 in the first year, and expanding the number of high-paying positions at its vehicle repair facilities. The compensation increase brings Walmart’s average salary up to the industry average, but it still falls short of several other major retailers.
While prominent companies like Google, Amazon and Goldman Sachs have laid off thousands of employees, retailers have generally avoided job losses thus far. Instead, they are still having trouble finding work. Moreover, they have a workforce that, like the rest of America, is under pressure from rising food and utility prices.
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