Target hits the spot with wage increase
Monday, October 02, 2017
The Target Corporation announced last week that the company would raise the hourly minimum wage to $11 for all Target team members. The retailer also said it would continue to raise the hourly wage to $15 by the end of 2020.
"Target has a long history of investing in our team members," Brian Cornell, CEO and chairman of Target, told reporters via telephone. "We care about and value the more than 323,000 individuals who come together every day with an absolute commitment to serving our guest.
"Target has always offered market competitive wages to our team members. With this latest commitment, we'll be providing even more meaningful pay, as well as the tools, training and support our team needs to build their skills, develop professionally and offer the service and expertise that set Target apart."
In 2015, Target raised the hourly wage from $7.25 to $9, and in 2016, the wage increased to $10 in competition with its biggest retail competitor Walmart. Both have annually raised their hourly wage hoping to attract the best employees. With the wage increase and added training for its team members, Target is hoping to boost its customer service rating.
Target joins the growing ranks of retailers — Starbucks, McDonald's, TJ Maxx, Best Buy, Home Depot, etc. — that have been increasing their wages in recent years as they see the benefit of investing in hourly workers.
Despite steady economic growth since the Great Recession, wages for many Americans have remained stagnant. A few years ago when the economy lacked vitality and the unemployment rate was higher, workers took what was available. Now with a stronger economy and a lower unemployment rate, companies find the pool of hourly wage workers is drying up.
Moreover, with the "Fight for $15" push to raise the minimum wage across the entire nation, many companies know the increase is coming. They realize that if the wage is $9 now, going to $10 is not a big stretch — especially if it means getting ahead of the competition for the best workers in the shrinking labor market.
But not everyone is cheering or able to raise their minimum wage. Small businesses complain that they will not be able to afford the increase, even if they agree with it. Other downsides are that large corporations might turn to automation to replace workers. The best in the market will get the raise; the others will get the boot.
The cost of labor will also drive up the cost of goods. The companies that are forging ahead are hoping that by investing in the work, the company will retain a better image in the general public's eyes and then attract more customers.
Target’s announcement comes months after the Minneapolis City Council ruled on measures that would require all large corporations to pay an hourly wage of $15 by 2022. Target, being a Minneapolis based corporation, plans to meet that requirement two years early.
Target employs 323,000 team members, and the new wage will also benefit the almost 100,000 seasonal employees hired to work through the holidays.
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