Need more evidence of the upward pressure on pay? An average full-time Walmart store associate in America makes $14.26 per hour, almost double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
That's according to Walmart's inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance Report, which was published on Tuesday. The 94-page document disclosed a number of Walmart's private figures on U.S. employee compensation, including a minimum starting salary of $11 per hour and an average store manager compensation of $175,000 per year. It also noted that 55 percent of Walmart's American workforce is female, and 44 percent are people of color.
The news is yet another factor to consider in the minimum wage debate. Already business owners across the U.S. are adjusting to or girding for minimum wage hikes as states and cities bump up their minimum wages, and campaigns, such as the Fight for $15, have become a rallying cry for some 2020 presidential candidates. In other words, if you're thinking you'll need to raise employee pay soon, you just may be right.
Just two months ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos challenged his competitors to match his company's $15 per hour minimum wage. Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, responded on Twitter:
Walmart's newly released pay statistics are not comprehensive: The document didn't include how much part-time associates make, and it's unclear how many of Walmart's 1.5 million U.S. employees are full-time workers.
A 2018 report from labor group Organization United for Respect said half of Walmart's employees at the time were part-timers. Walmart has pushed back against that report, noting on its website: "We've converted nearly 175,000 associates from part-time to full-time in fiscal year 2019."