Walmart outlined average wages for its store workers and efforts to improve benefits in a social responsibility report, part of the retailer’s long-running efforts to rebut criticism of its pay and bolster its competitive position in a tight labour market.
Walmart’s US store managers earn an average of $175,000 a year while full-time hourly workers make an average of at least $25,000, or $14.26 an hour, the company disclosed Wednesday.
Pressure on Walmart has intensified as competitors including Amazon.com and Costco Wholesale have raised their minimum wage to at least $15 an hour.
Last year, Walmart expanded parental leave benefits for all company employees. Its executives often publicly cite added worker training that is intended to help low-level employees more easily advance to higher-paying management jobs.
Store managers, the highest position inside a Walmart store, have a wide range of duties. In the largest supercenters they can manage over 300 workers and oversee more than $100 million in annual sales.
The vast majority of Walmart’s 1.5 million U.S. workers are hourly employees. And over half of hourly store workers are considered full-time employees, the company said in the report.
Along with benefit increases, Walmart has raised wages in recent years. In 2015, Walmart set a minimum wage for hourly workers at $9. Wages have climbed more than 50 per cent over the past three years and the minimum starting wage is now $11, Walmart said.
Walmart’s average hourly wage for full-time store workers in April 2018 was $14.08, a spokesman said, about 18 cents lower than it is today.
Walmart executives have told investors they are working to keep wages competitive in a tight labor market by raising wages in certain regions, individual stores and for particular jobs, as needed.
Some 55% of Walmart’s workers, both at stores and in corporate jobs, are female, while 44% are people of colour, the report said.