Target is raising its minimum wage to as much as $24 an hour
Target says it will raise its minimum wage as high as $24 per hour this year, depending on the local market. Companies have been raising pay and benefits in an effort to keep and attract workers.The retail giant currently pays a $15 per hour starting wage but saidMonday that it would begin paying workers wages ranging from $15 to $24. The starting rate will depend on the job, the market and local wage data, among other factors. The wage increase is a part of a $300 million investment in pay and benefits. The company also said it would expand employee access to health care. Hourly employees who work an average of at least 25 hours a week will become eligible for a Target medical plan.Initially, these benefits were only available to employees who work an average of at least 30 hours per week. With the new benchmark, about 20% of Target workers will become eligible. The company is also bolstering most health plans to include virtual physical therapy and acupuncture at no cost, along with more fertility benefits. Employees will also be able to access 401(k) plans earlier, the company said.Last year, the company announceda partnership with Guild Education — the same company that partnered with Dollywood's parent company — to provide employees with free education programs, including degrees, certificates and boot camps. Target workers unite, an independent group made up of rank and file company employees, said the "pay rate is probably exclusive for warehouse workers" and that the pay range could mean lower wages in the South. Walmart raisedits minimum wage to $12 last year and Costco raised its minimum to $17. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. More than two dozen states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands, have minimum wages that exceed the federal minimum. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.