Target raises potential starting wage for employees

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

Target Corp. announced last month that it would begin raising its starting pay rates for new employees living in areas with competitive job markets to up to $24 per hour, up from $15 an hour.

This pay raise will occur in areas that the big-box department store chain deems “where competition for finding and hiring staff is the fiercest,” according to reporting from PIX 11 News. New York is one of these locations, though Target has not released a full list of places where these wages will increase.

“The market has changed,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told The Associated Press. “We want to continue to have an industry-leading position.”

The goal of these wage increases is to attract new employees to stores that are having trouble getting applicants. The company owns 350,000 stores in the United States and employs 1,900 employees.

Currently, Target, based in Minneapolis, pays all new workers $15 per hour. Still, the company will be offering a range of different starting salaries that fall from $15 to $24 per hour, depending on the location.

In addition to the wage increases, the retailer is also exploring broadening the health care coverage for its hourly workers.

It is not the first time Target has been the highest paying company for hourly workers in retail. In 2017, the company was the first large chain to set its universal minimum wage to  $15 per hour, which is now the standard in many companies and the minimum wage in New York State.

According to a survey from global consulting firm Korn Ferry, 96% of big corporations that have an annual revenue between $500 million to more than $20 billion say that they’re having trouble finding employees for their stores.

This demand for new workers has been increasing the pay rate, prompting this announcement from Target.

Although it attempts to attract new workers, Target said that it was actually able to exceed its seasonal hiring goals. The company hired 100,000 seasonal workers for its stores and 30,000 for its supply chain network across the country during the 2021 holiday season.

The turnover rate of employees is also lower now than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.