Walmart announced Thursday it will raise pay for workers to an average above $15 an hour, giving a boost to 425,000 employees.
Walmart said its minimum starting wage for workers will remain at $11 an hour. Its U.S. workforce numbers about 1.5 million people, making it the nation’s largest private employer.
The big-box retailer made the announcement as it reported holiday-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street’s expectations, weighed down by coronavirus-related expenses and heightened investments in e-commerce. Walmart also cautioned that it expects its sales growth to moderate this year.
Beginning March 13, the company said, pay for store workers in digital and stocking positions will go up to $13 to $19 an hour, depending on store location.
Rivals Amazon and Target have made their starting pay $15 an hour, and the Biden administration and Congress are considering hiking the federal minimum wage to that level from $7.25 per hour.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who is also chairman of the influential Business Roundtable, has previously said that the retailer believes the federal minimum wage should be higher — but with "geographic differences."