Walmart is raising hourly pay for employees above the required minimum to keep workers and potentially lure more in amid a tight labor market.
- Starting next month, Walmart is raising its wages for hourly workers by as much as $2 for U.S. workers.
- The pay raise will bring the company’s average hourly pay to $17.50.
- Walmart says around 340,000 workers at about 3,000 stores will be eligible for the pay bump, reflected on March 2 paychecks.
Why it’s news
Walmart is raising its minimum wage to keep current workers and attract new ones amid a tight labor market.
The unemployment rate for July, September, and December 2022 was at a low of 3.5%. Before 2019, a number that low wasn’t seen in nearly 50 years. The pandemic shifted the job market considerably, leading many people to quit their jobs to find better pay or work-life balance.
Many large tech companies have laid off workers, but many other U.S. businesses are still actively looking to recruit new employees. Data from November 2022 shows around 1.7 open positions for each available worker in the U.S.
Despite other industries heavily laying off workers, Walmart is trying to keep current employees and bring in new ones. Starting next month, the company is raising its average minimum wage.
The minimum wage will rise by as much as $2 for staff at its U.S. stores to a range of $14 to $19 per hour, depending on location, according to Walmart.
Despite the jump in pay, Walmart is still lagging behind other larger retailers with higher average pay. Amazon, Costco, and Target all have a minimum pay of at least $15 an hour since 2021.
Walmart has already raised pay for pharmacists, truck drivers, and warehouse workers and plans to continue raising wages to compete with others in the labor market.
It’s significant that the job market supply and demand is driving Walmart’s pay scale and not public policy, as the company is now paying more than the minimum required.