Target Corp. is raising the minimum wage for its hourly workers next month to at least $9 an hour, following in the footsteps of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and TJX Cos.
“We make sure we’re competitive in every marketplace in which we do business,” said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman. “As part of that, we regularly and continually evaluate the marketplace to make sure our wages are competitive.”
She added that pay raises as part of a merit process often happen in the spring, but she declined to say what Target’s current average minimum was. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Target was making the move.
The nation’s second-largest discount chain has been informing workers of the increase in recent days, the Journal said. Wal-Mart, Target’s biggest rival, announced plans in February to boost hourly pay to at least $9 by April and then to $10 by next February.
Retailers are putting more money in paychecks in an effort to reduce turnover and cope with an increasingly competitive labor market. Payrolls rose in 39 states in January and the unemployment rate fell in 24 of them, figures from the Labor Department showed Tuesday.
Wal-Mart’s move put pressure on Target to respond, Burt Flickinger, managing director at Strategic Resource Group in New York, said last month.
“It’s a competitive market for workers,” he said.
Unlike Wal-Mart, Target doesn’t plan to make a formal announcement about its pay increase. Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, declined to comment.