Walmart Is Raising Its Minimum Wage

Company says rise from $12 to $14 will affect around 340K workers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 4:18 PM CST
340K Walmart Workers Are Getting a Raise
A woman pushes a shopping cart at a Walmart in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

While tech companies are laying off workers by the thousand, Walmart is trying to make sure its 1.6 million workers stick around. The company, America's largest employer, says it is hiking its minimum wage from $12 to $14 for store employees, almost twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25, CNN reports. The company says the move will result in pay rises for 21% of its workforce, around 340,000 people. In a memo to employees Tuesday, Walmart US CEO John Furner said the average wage for hourly employees, which make up 94% of its workforce, will rise from $17 to $17.50 when the pay rises take effect in early March,

Analysts say that despite layoffs elsewhere and warning that a recession may be looming, there is still a lot of competition for lower-paid workers. The Walmart pay hike brings it closer to Amazon and Target, which have a $15 minimum wage. Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY Parthenon, tells CNBC that retail has a higher "churn rate" than many industries, meaning it would be easy for an employer like Walmart to reduce headcount by not filling vacancies. He says that after working hard to recruit and train workers over the last 18 months, retailers are wary of losing trained employees. "Any retailer is going to have to think carefully and think twice about laying off a good share of their workforce," he says. (More Walmart stories.)

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