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Walmart hikes hourly pay by $1 for more than 550,000 workers ahead of the holidays

Florida, Miami, Walmart discount department store, check out lines.

Jeff Greenberg | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Walmart said Thursday that it is raising the hourly wages for more than 565,000 store workers by at least $1, as the retail industry aces a tight labor market as it prepares to staff up for the holidays.

Walmart U.S. Chief Executive John Furner said in a memo to staff that this marks the third investment the company has made in salaries in the past year. Walmart’s U.S. average hourly wage is now $16.40, he said.

According to Furner, employees who work on the frontend of Walmart stores and in its food & consumable and general merchandise departments will receive the higher wages, which will be effective Sept. 25.

Earlier in the week, Walmart announced it plans to hire 20,000 workers for its supply chain as it ramps of for the holidays and prepares for more people to shop online. In July, it said it would pay 100% of college tuition and book costs for employees.

The nation’s largest private employer is sweetening its perks as companies cope with fierce competition for workers amid ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks.

Other retailers have announced similar perks and policy changes in recent months. Among them, Target rolled out its own debt-free college program. CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance said are boosting starting wages to $15 an hour in the coming months, and CVS said it would drop education requirements for entry-level jobs.

–CNBC’s Melissa Repko contributed to this report.

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