Retail: Target boosts wages to attract workers
Target announced this week that it would lift its minimum wage to $11 an hour, in a bid to fill jobs in a tight labor market, said Khadeeja Safdar in The Wall Street Journal. The retailer added that its base pay would rise to $15 an hour by 2020. CEO Brian Cornell said the raises were designed to help Target retain staff and attract new workers ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. Target has pledged to hire 100,000 temporary employees in November and December, after weak holiday sales last year. Following that disappointing season, the chain “has been cutting prices, remodeling stores, and ramping up spending on its supply chain and e-commerce.”
A $15 wage would make Target’s starting pay the retail industry’s most robust, surpassing upscale competitors such as Bloomingdale’s, said Danielle Paquette in The Washington Post. Retail remains the largest private-sector employer in the U.S., and with unemployment remaining persistently low, Target’s move signals how keen retailers are to hold on to trained staff. Target’s archrival Walmart, whose minimum wage is $10 per hour, spent $2.7 billion last year on wage investment and staff training. Walmart has said it won’t hire extra workers for this year’s holiday season and will instead offer existing workers more overtime opportunities.