Walmart Bumps Average Hourly Wage to $17.50 — What Other Worker Retention Efforts Are Coming?

"Sainte-Hyacinthe, Canada - June 30, 2012: The front facade and entry doors to a Walmart store in Canada.
buzbuzzer / Getty Images

It takes a whole lot of workers to operate a company as big as Walmart, and the retail giant aims to keep and retain those workers by offering higher pay and other perks.

Discover: 10 Things To Stop Buying in 2023
Learn: 3 Things You Must Do When Your Savings Reach $50,000
See the List: GOBankingRates’ Best Banks of 2023

In a Jan. 24 letter to U.S.-based employees, Walmart CEO John Furner said that beginning next month, the company will “begin investing in higher wages for associates.” The effort includes a mix of regular yearly pay increases and higher minimum wages that will bring Walmart’s U.S. average hourly wage to more than $17.50. The pay hikes will kick in beginning on March 2, 2023.

In addition, the minimum wage for Walmart store employees will rise to $14 an hour from $12 an hour, CNBC reported, citing comments from a Walmart spokesperson. Beginning in March, store employees will earn between $14 and $19 an hour, up from $12 to $18 currently.

Walmart has about 1.7 million workers in the United States – the most of any private employer – and nearly all of them (94%) are hourly employees, CNN reported. The retailer has long faced criticism from labor groups for its low pay, but that has changed in recent years amid a move by Walmart to hike wages so it can better compete with rivals such as Target, Amazon and Costco.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

As CNN noted, dozens of companies, including Walmart, have laid off corporate staff in recent months. But because of strong demand for service industry workers, employers have been forced to offer higher pay and other perks just to fill payrolls. Walmart has nearly 30,000 store jobs listed on its hiring website.

Nationally, the number of job openings stood at a historically high 10.5 million in November, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s much higher than the 6 million people who were unemployed that month.

Take Our Poll: Are You In Favor of More Inflation Relief in 2023?

For its part, Walmart is offering more than just higher pay to lure workers. Here are some of the other perks it is rolling out:

  • Continued investments in Auto Care Center (ACC) employees. Last fall Walmart created a higher-paying Auto Care Center coach role. It now plans to introduce a higher-paying ACC team lead position and raise the pay of ACC tech employees to reflect the special skills needed for the role.
  • New college degrees and certificates for Walmart’s Live Better U (LBU) education program. The new options are designed to help employees gain the skills needed to unlock new career opportunities. Both part-time and full-time associates can participate in LBU on their first day and Walmart will pay 100% of the tuition and fees.
  • Expansion of the Associate-to-Driver Program. Under this program, Walmart foots the bill for supply-chain associates to earn their commercial driver’s licenses and become Walmart truck drivers earning up to $110,000 in their first year. The program was also recently made available to store associates.
Make Your Money Work Better for You

More From GOBankingRates

Share This Article:

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
email sharing button
Make Your Money Work Better for You

About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
Learn More


See Today's Best
Banking Offers