MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. has begun raising its minimum wage to $10 an hour, according to sources cited by Reuters.
The discounter’s management has communicated the $1-per-hour raise to store managers, who have started telling employees about the increase. Most employees who earn less than $10 per hour should see their base pay rise next month, anonymous sources told the news service.
The increase follows a pay hike at Walmart. It also comes as unions’ advocacy of $15 minimum wage, the “Fight for Fifteen” drive, is gaining leverage and has become a topic in the presidential campaign. Democrat Bernie Sanders is calling for a $15 “living wage.”
Target’s move reflects heightened competition for workers in a strengthening labor market. The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits has dropped to its lowest point in four decades, and the unemployment rate is just 5%.
Target raised its minimum wage a year ago to $9 an hour, up from the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour at the time. The move last April followed a similar change by Walmart. The world’s largest retailer in February 2015 said it would hike its base pay to $10 an hour in 2016, and has done so in recent weeks.
Target is also raising wages for employees who already make over $10 an hour. Such workers reportedly will be entitled to an annual merit raise and a pay-grade hike, depending on their experience and position.
Target declined to confirm the raises. “We pay market competitive rates and regularly benchmark the marketplace to ensure that our compensation and benefits packages will help us to both recruit and retain great talent,” a company spokeswoman told Reuters.