Walmart Cuts Starting Pay for Some Employees

The move may indicate that the labor market is slowly becoming less tight.

September 08, 2023

A tight labor market has caused retailers to aggressively increase pay in many areas of the country. That may be changing.

Walmart, which employs about 1.6 million people in the United States, is cutting starting pay for some new hires, according to reporting from The Wall Street Journal. “The retailer’s latest move suggests that the stresses companies are facing in trying to find employees are easing,” the Journal reports.

Under the old structure, some workers started at a slightly higher initial wage depending on their job. For example, if they collected items for online orders, they made slightly more than cashiers.

The new structure flattens this disparity.

“Walmart said the change allows workers to move between work groups such as food, registers, stocking or digital fulfillment without pay impacts, according to documents given to some store workers,” the Journal reports.

In January, Walmart raised its starting wage to $14 an hour, while also adding benefits and perks, in particular for harder-to-find roles such as truck drivers.

The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly in August to 3.8% from 3.5% in July. However, new filings for state unemployment fell last week, Reuters reports, showing that the job market remains relatively tight.

In April, Walmart announced it was building a national EV charging network. “Walmart announced it’s building an EV fast-charging network across thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations by 2030. The fast-chargers would be in addition to the almost 1,300 EV fast-charging stations currently available at more than 280 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations,” NACS reported.