Walmart Raises Minimum Wage as Problems Mount

Walmart Raises Minimum Wage as Problems Mount

( – Many companies are experiencing labor shortfalls because they don’t have enough workers to fill the positions. One company is taking the initiative to keep its current employees and attract new people to work by offering a host of pay increases and program incentives.

On January 24, Walmart’s president and CEO, John Furner, sent out a memo to existing employees announcing the changes the retailer is making to invest in them. Workers will see an increase in the minimum wage from $12 to $14, raising the average hourly rate to approximately $17.50. Employees can expect to see the new incentives reflected in their paychecks beginning March 2, and the raises will impact nearly 340,000 people who work in retail locations nationwide.

The company previously gave its pharmacy employees a raise and plans to do the same in the Auto Care Centers (ACC). Technicians who work in the ACC will see an unspecified increase correlating with the skills the job requires. Additionally, Walmart is creating team lead positions that will pay higher rates because employees will have greater responsibilities.

The retailer is expanding its Live Better U offerings as an incentive program to help employees who want to increase their skills and potentially grow within the company. Workers can use the program to earn degrees and certifications. The education program is available to all employees as soon as their first day of employment, and Walmart covers 100% of the costs.

Finally, the company is offering its associates the opportunity to train and become company drivers, with an earning potential of $110,000 annually starting the first year.

These changes come as other companies, such as Amazon and Target, are also increasing their starting wages to attract and retain employees. By comparison, critics still don’t consider Walmart on par with other retailers regarding wages or training, but it’s slowly making up ground. Time will tell if the efforts pay off.

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