Walmart just upped the ante on wages.
The announcement Thursday by America’s largest private employer that it will give half-a-million employees a raise could add to the pressure that a host of other low-wage employers are already facing to pay their workers more. Walmart has 1.3 million workers and is the dominant employer in many American communities, which means that it often sets the floor for wages locally.
“For that prospective employee looking at $10 dollars at Walmart vs. $7.25 at McDonald’s, it’s obvious where they are going to want to work,” said David Cooper, an analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank that advocates for a higher minimum wage. “Walmart needs to think about raising wages to hang on to the best people, and to do this in a public way—that’s an added bonus for them.”
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