Walmart Gives 500,000 Workers A Raise
In a move that could alter wage expectations, Walmart announced it will raise the baseline wage of its current store employees to $10 per hour, bringing pay hikes to an estimated 500,000 workers.
The company said on Thursday that it would raise its wage floor to $9 in April 2015, followed by a second boost to $10 by February 2016.
The decision follows similar moves by other major retailers such as Gap and IKEA, but the sheer size of Walmart sets the company apart. The Arkansas-based retailer is the largest private-sector employer in the U.S., with an estimated 1.4 million employees, and it is largely seen as a trend-setter. According to a Walmart spokesman, the new wages apply to current employees. New hires next year will be earning at least $9, but will be bumped up to at least $10 per hour after roughly six months of training. With unemployment falling recently to 5.7 percent from a peak of 10 percent after the recession, there is more pressure on employers to raise hourly pay.
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