Walmart announced that the company would raise pay for 425,000 of its employees in the United States to an average about $15.
The country’s largest private employer clarified that the move will not affect the minimum starting wage for workers, which will remain at $11 an hour.
The pay for store workers in digital and stocking positions is targeted to increase to $13 to $19 an hour, depending on the store location.
The announcement comes a week after Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, met with President Biden and his top economic advisers to discuss, among other issues, the administration’s interest in raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.
When asked about whether the company would eventually raise wages for all its employees to $15 an hour on a conference call, McMillon said that the $15-an-hour minimum for all workers was an “important target but it should be paced in a way that is good for the U.S. economy.”
He continued that the wage increases were part of helping workers build a career at Walmart by paying workers more over time as they moved into managerial roles.
The new wage rises would prioritize employees who had been working for the company for some time, and will be focused on digital and inventory management roles.
“On the wage side, you will see us continue to make investments at the right time,” he said.
“We will raise our starting wage over time, and I think our history proves that.”
Meanwhile, rivals Amazon and Target have made their starting pay $15 an hour, while the Biden administration and Congress are considering hiking the federal minimum wage to that level from $7.25 per hour.
Target initially planned to raise its wages by the end of 2020, but accelerated that timetable and implemented the wage hike last summer.
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