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Walmart in wage hike test

walmart associate scanning items on shelves

As the labor crunch continues, Walmart is reportedly testing a higher starting minimum wage.

The nation’s largest private employer has raised starting hourly pay for its newly created position of “team associates” to $12 from $11 in about 500 stores, reported CNBC. The new hires, who will work as cashiers, people who help stock shelves and deli workers, are part of a new more flexible model and a more “ team approach” that Walmart is piloting for how manages workflow within the store, the report said. 

The new model ultimately will give lower-level workers in 500 store more responsibilities, CNBC said. The changes also incorporate eliminating select roles such as assistant manager and customer-service manager, replacing them with jobs such as academy trainer, team lead, coach and store lead.

“We are really excited about our test that further empowers our associates to take care of customers,” Drew Holler, senior VP of U.S. People and Associate Experience at Walmart, said in an emailed statement to CNBC.

In January 2018, Walmart raised its minimum starting wage at $11 an hour. It still lags behind rivals Target, which increased its minimum hourly wage to $13 starting in June 2019 as part of its goal to hit $15 an hour by the end of 2020. Amazon raised its minimum starting wage to $15 an hour in November 2018.

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