Walmart has recently adjusted its hourly wage structure for new store workers, a move that signifies a trend among employers to trim labour expenses in response to the cooling demand for hourly staff positions. This change, implemented in mid-July, has implications for how new hires are compensated.
Under the revised structure, employees will start at the lowest hourly wage rate applicable to their respective store. In the past, certain roles, such as online order pickers, received slightly higher starting wages compared to positions such as cashiers.
It’s worth noting that Walmart’s minimum hourly wage remains $14, with regional variations. That is, in some stores the wages start at $17. About 1.6 million people work at Walmart stores and warehouses across the US, and the new pay structure will not affect the existing employees.
The retail chain reportedly claims that this wage restructuring will allow workers opportunities to switch between various roles within the store, explore new roles including those in the food division, at the registers, stocking, or digital fulfilment, without experiencing wage reductions. The objective is to achieve more effective staffing across the store. This will also allow workers to acquire new skills and pursue career advancement within Walmart.
More than 50,000 workers reportedly received pay hikes because their wages were below the new minimums set by this adjustment.
For salaried workers, starting pay is on the decline, especially for those changing jobs, as businesses exercise greater caution in their hiring practices, offering lower initial salaries compared to earlier this year.