This past Tuesday, Walmart announced that the titan of grocery and retail is going to be increasing its average wages for most of its associates as the job market experiences a persistent shortage of the labor supply.
John Furner, the current Walmart U.S. CEO, has released a recently published memo that the company plans to push through raises for a selection of stores such that their rates are more appealing when compared to the competitors. The average pay for an employee of Walmart across the nation is expected to now break the barrier of $17.50 per hour.
“Starting next month, we’ll begin investing in higher wages for associates,” stated Furner. “This includes a mixture of associates’ regular annual increases and targeted investments in starting rates for thousands of stores, to ensure we have attractive pay in the markets we operate.”
Walmart is one of the largest employers in the private sector across the United States; the company currently has 1.7 million domestic associates, as reported by the website for the retail titan. The firm also announced the large-scale expansion of a number of programs in relation to education initiatives for employees, including an increase in the total number of college degrees for its associates which can be reimbursed.
As another leading employer from the private sector, Amazon also recently unveiled wage increases across the nation toward the end of last year: average hourly pay for their employees from customer fulfillment and transportation are expected to climb up to $19.00 per hour, with a number of employees earning between $16.00 per hour and $26.00 per hour depending on their role and the location of their hub across the United States, according to a press release from the e-commerce giant.
These wage spikes have been taking place due to both public and private sector employers having trouble hiring. There exist close to 10.5 million total job openings and 5.7 million currently unemployed individuals all over the nation, as explained by a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seemingly stemming from a constrained labor market which has caused inflationary pressures to become much worse as a number of firms start to raise their compensation packages.
On the other hand, a number of other companies have elected to take a different route. They have recently revealed new plans to automate their operations as the ongoing labor shortages continue to hurt employers throughout the job market. McDonald’s recently set up a test restaurant out in Texas in which customers can make use of both the mobile app and in-building kiosks to order their food and receive it via a conveyor belt instead of interacting with any customer-facing staff, while another company, Chipotle, has rolled out testing for a robotic chip maker within a location out in California.