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Walmart boosts employee earnings with increased minimum wage and additional perks

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  • Staff Report 

Retail giant Walmart has announced that it will be raising its minimum wage for store employees to $14 an hour, a 17% increase for those who stock shelves and interact with customers. This move is expected to benefit approximately 340,000 workers, or 21% of the company’s 1.6 million employees. Starting in early March, employees will earn between $14 and $19 per hour, compared to the current range of $12 to $18 per hour. Walmart’s U.S. average wage is expected to be over $17.50 after the change, according to CEO John Furner.

This decision to increase wages comes at an interesting moment in the economy, as some economists are predicting a recession and companies like Google, Amazon, and Goldman Sachs have laid off employees. However, retailers have generally avoided job cuts and are struggling to find employees in the tight labor market.

In addition to the wage increase, Walmart is also offering additional perks to attract and retain employees. The company’s Live Better U program, which covers tuition and fees for part- and full-time workers, will now include more college degrees and certificates. Walmart is also creating more high-paid roles at its auto care centers and recruiting employees to become truck drivers, a job that can pay up to $110,000 in the first year.

According to Gregory Daco, chief economist for EY Parthenon, retailers may be planning cautiously when it comes to layoffs, as for the past 18 months, they have had to work harder to recruit and retain workers. Hiring and training new employees can be costly, and retailers may be hesitant to lose too many employees.

In a memo to employees, CEO John Furner emphasized that the wage hike will be part of many employees’ annual increases, and that some of those pay increases will also go toward store employees who work in parts of the country where the labor market is more competitive.

Walmart’s decision to increase wages and offer additional perks is a positive move for its employees, and it aligns with the company’s commitment to investing in its workforce. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of fair compensation and benefits in attracting and retaining top talent in today’s job market.

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