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Walmart announces pay raises for 425K employees but starting wage remains at $11 an hour

Walmart logo sign
Posted at 9:34 AM, Feb 18, 2021

Walmart announced Thursday that it was raising the average wage for employees to $15 an hour company-wide. While the move will result in a pay bump for 425,000 workers, it falls short of the wage increases offered by some of the chain’s biggest rivals in recent years.

Walmart says that it will boost pay for employees who stock shelves and employees who do in-home delivery or curbside pickup to between $13 and $19 an hour, depending on store location and market. According to CNN, those 425,000 employees represent a quarter of the store’s workforce.

However, Walmart will keep its starting minimum wage at $11 an hour — a minimum wage that ranks below other retail giants. Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018, while Target bumped starting pay up to $15 an hour in 2020.

The pay bumps come about a year after Walmart announced a pay increase for store management positions, who earn a minimum of $18 an hour.

The store announced the change the same day it announced strong holiday sales and record-breaking revenue in 2020.

Walmart’s stock plummeted nearly 6% in early trading Thursday after the change was announced.

The federal minimum wage has been at $7.25 an hour, though progressive lawmakers have been pressuring President Joe Biden to include a minimum wage hike in the next round of COVID-19 stimulus.

The Biden administration has said that it’s unsure if a minimum wage increase could legally be included in the current stimulus package, as the House and Senate are attempting to pass the bill through a parliamentary procedure called Budget Reconciliation.