With continuing labor shortage, Walmart raises minimum wage to $14/hr

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas: To attract and retain employees in a tight domestic labor market, Walmart has announced that it it will raise the average hourly wages for US store workers beginning in February.

It added that it will raise its average hourly wage to $17.50 per hour from the current $17, which will be reflected in paychecks on 2nd March, while the minimum wage it offers to staff at US stores will increase to a range of $14 to $19 per hour, depending on the location.

Some 340,000 workers at about 3,000 stores will be eligible for the increased wages, the company said in an email.

The retail giant employs 1.6 million workers in the US, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas.

However, its staff wages remain below rivals, such as Amazon, Costco and Target, which have been offering minimum wages of at least $15 an hour since 2021.

The US labor market has remained tight, with the unemployment rate falling to a five-decade low at 3.5 percent in December, and the number of available positions have outpaced the number of unemployed.

Therefore, the US Federal Reserve Bank could further raise interest rates, placing additional pressure on minimum wage earners and household budgets.

In a statement this week, Walmart said that the wage increases are a combination of regular annual increases and targeted investments in starting rates.