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Walmart raises starting pay for employees to $14 an hour

Walmart will now pay its employees a minimum of $14 an hour, up from an hourly pay of $12.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, my play is Walmart. WMT a trending ticker on Yahoo Finance today. The largest employer in the US announcing today it's increasing starting pay from $12 to $14 an hour. The retailer says more than 300,000 US workers will see a raise in their March paycheck. Walmart says hourly workers currently earn an average of around $17 an hour. Rivals Target and Amazon have a $15 an hour minimum wage. The unemployment rate, though, it's still near a 50-year low of 3.5%. The Fed currently estimates it will increase to 4.6% in 2023.

Now Walmart shares mostly flat. Today didn't really move on this news, mostly flat this year and up less than 2% over the last 12 months. I talk about that unemployment rate, 50-year low, Seana, because this is another one of those stories, like the stories we mentioned earlier in the show, might not be what the Fed wants to see as wages continue to increase, as they'd like to see them come down.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, certainly, because that adds obviously to the inflationary pressure, something that the Fed has been trying to get under control now for some time. But obviously, for Americans, this is a huge. This is amazing. This is obviously way overdue when you take into account how much more people are paying this year because of inflation, how many states have not raised their minimum wages yet. So another company here stepping up and raising the wage once again. Obviously, very good.

You mentioned, though, that it's still below some of its competitors, which stuck out to me because the fact that job openings still so high, millions and millions of job openings here in the US, so many companies like Walmart having a very tough time recruiting the workers, getting the workers they need through their doors. I would have thought that maybe they would have raised it to 15 bucks an hour.

JOSH SCHAFER: I was going to say, $1 below Amazon, you would think right there, you just matched them simply just to, on your surface, say that you pay just as much as Amazon, right? It's only $1. I don't think that's going to cost them that much. It probably would have been a better look.