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Wage Increase: Retail Giant Walmart to Raise Minimum Hourly Wage

Walmart shoppers in Irvine, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2020. (Photo: John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Walmart is the largest employer in the United States. It announced last Tuesday that it will raise its starting hourly rates beginning in February 2023.

Walmart shoppers in Irvine, Calif., on Dec. 22, 2020. (Photo: John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Walmart CEO John Furner declared in a statement that “beginning next month, we’ll begin investing in increased compensation for associates.”

“This increase will be a combination of normal annual increases for associates and targeted investments in initial rates for thousands of stores to ensure we have competitive pay in the markets we operate in,” he explained. “We estimate these raises will push our U.S. average hourly wage to more than $17.50. They’ll be reflected in paychecks on March 2, 2023.”

Walmart spokesperson, Anne Hatfield, told CNBC that retail employees who currently earn between $12 and $18 an hour will be paid between $14 and $19 an hour starting in early March. According to the spokeswoman, approximately 340,000 individuals will enjoy a wage boost around the same time.

Walmart’s fees also include higher-paying positions in its auto centers, enhanced perks as part of its college degree program, and the growth of a program that educates employees to become truck drivers for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company.

Amazon recently increased the average beginning compensation for select employees to more than $19 per hour, up from $18 per hour in October. Walmart’s initial wave of salary raises comes six months after the company increased the average pay for pharmacy staff to more than $20 per hour and announced a new “progressive wage model” to combat labor shortages. It has previously increased wages for truck drivers and distribution center employees.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Costco’s minimum pay is higher than those of Walmart’s competitors such as Amazon and Target.

“The work market is quite competitive, especially at this level. “Hourly workers are still scarce, and firms are competing for them by raising wages,” Andy Challenger, senior vice president of outplacement agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told CNN on Tuesday.

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