Walmart said on Thursday that it was raising wages for 425,000 of its employees in the United States, as the giant retailer and other companies face mounting pressure to increase pay for low-wage workers.
The wage increases mean that about half of its 1.5 million workers in the United States would earn at least $15 an hour, Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said on a conference call with investors.
The move, which was announced as part of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, does not raise the Walmart’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, which rivals like Target and Amazon have already done.
Walmart's minimum wage remains at $11 an hour for many workers, though the company has been raising its starting pay for select positions during the pandemic.
The announcement of higher wages comes about a week after Mr. McMillon met with President Biden and his top economic advisers to discuss, among other issues, the administration’s interest in raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.
On the conference call with investors, Mr. McMillon was asked about whether the company would eventually raise wages for all its employees to $15 an hour.
Mr. McMillon said the $15-an-hour minimum for all workers was an “important target but it should be paced in a way that is good for the U.S. economy.”
He said the wage increases announced on Thursday were part of helping workers build a career at Walmart by paying workers more over time as they moved into managerial roles.
Mr. McMillon said the new wage raises would be geared toward workers who had been with the company for some time and would be focused on digital and inventory management roles, which have been an important part of the company’s growing online grocery business.
“On the wage side, you will see us continue to make investments at the right time,” Mr. McMillon said.
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