Happy holidays: Walmart to bump hourly pay by $1 for 565,000 workers ahead of seasonal surge

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart confirmed Thursday that it plans to raise hourly wages for more than 565,000 store workers by at least $1 ahead of the holiday shopping season as the U.S. labor market continues to tighten.

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According to Reuters, the wage increase for front-end, general merchandise and food & consumable departments takes effect Sept. 25.

Walmart U.S. Chief Executive John Furne announced the pay hike in a memo to employees, noting that this third wage increase in the past year has brought the retail behemoth’s average hourly U.S. wage to $16.40, the news outlet reported.

With 1.6 million U.S. employees, most of whom are hourly workers, Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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The latest wage hike comes one day after the Bentonville, Arkansas-based mega-retailer announced plans to hire 20,000 permanent supply chain employees and follows a similar raise announced earlier this year for more than 425,000 stocking and digital associates.

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According to the Journal, Walmart also offered special bonuses and, in some cases, temporary pay raises to many warehouse employees in early August in order to get a jump on holiday logistics.

The terms of the bonuses varied by location and job type, but some workers in the company’s 190 U.S. warehouses were offered $1,000 over four weeks for not skipping any scheduled shifts during the second half of the summer. Others were offered temporary pay raises totaling several dollars per hour through January 2022, the Journal reported.

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A Walmart spokesperson told the newspaper that the retailer’s distribution warehouses “continue to see high volume as we are preparing for peak season.”