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Walmart Raises Average Wages for Employees

Credit: Unsplash

One of the major talking points of the current political climate is a need for a nation-wide raise on the federal minimum wage. Senators, mostly left-leaning ones, have been pushing for a blanket increase to a minimum wage of $15 an hour, but progress on that front has been slow. But while such a change is not currently mandated, some retailers have decided to take measures into their own hands.

Big-box retail chain Walmart reported its holiday season earnings today, falling notably short of Wall Street’s projections due primarily to COVID-19 woes. However, along with this less-than-stellar news came a slightly more optimistic announcement: Walmart is raising the average pay rate of its employees to $15 an hour. This will provide a substantial boost to at least 425,000 Walmart employees around the country.

To clarify, Walmart’s minimum pay rate is not being raised to $15 an hour, but the average is. The company’s introductory pay rate will still be $11 an hour, but the range of payments is being expanded to $13 to $19 an hour. This means the majority of floor employees’ pay rates will land around $15 an hour depending on their position and employment length, among other factors. This change will go into effect on March 13.

In the face of other retailers like Target and Amazon opting for a flat increase, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that the company is opting for a slightly different approach. Hourly pays at Walmart locations are affected by where they are based, making a uniform increase more difficult. However, he expressed hopes that the company can be a “ladder of opportunity,” adding that a large portion of Walmart managers started as floor employees.

“We will raise our starting wage over time, and I think our history proves that,” McMillon said.

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