Today, Target announced it's raising its minimum hourly wage for employees from $10 to $11 starting in October. The big-box store also vows to bump it up to $15 by 2020.
"We’ve always offered market-competitive wages to our team members," CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. "With this latest commitment, we'll be providing even more meaningful pay, as well as the tools, training, and support our team needs to build their skills, develop professionally, and offer the service and expertise that set Target apart."
Target, which employs more than 323,000 workers, said the new wage rate will also apply to the approximately 100,000 seasonal employees it's hiring for the holiday season.
The Minneapolis-based retailer's decision comes just under three months after the city became one of the first in the country to adopt a $15 minimum wage. The Minneapolis City Council voted to require large companies (over 100 employees) to pay their workers a $15 minimum wage by 2022. Smaller companies have until 2024. The vote's impact on Target speaks to the power local governments can have to affect national change.
Several cities, including L.A., San Francisco, and Chicago, recently raised minimum wages with the new fiscal year. There are currently only two states — Massachusetts and Washington — with minimum wages higher than $11 per hour. The federal minimum wage remains $7.25 an hour.
Walmart, one of Target's biggest competitors, last raised its minimum hourly salary for workers in 2016 to $10 an hour. Since then, Walmart — the largest private employer in the U.S. — has not made any announcements regarding plans to raise its wages. When asked by Reuters about the potential costs of hiking its wages to $15 an hour last year, a spokesperson for the company declined to comment but said the retailer is investing $2.7 billion into training, education, and raising wages over two years.
The "Fight for 15" movement, which advocates for a living wage of $15 per hour, has been spreading across the country. This spring, Democrats in Congress introduced a $15 minimum-wage bill. But wages are still stagnating, with many low-wage workers unable to afford housing in major metro areas. And according to CareerBuilder, 81% of women and 75% of men currently live paycheck-to-paycheck.
For now, we're enjoying the Twitter reactions:
We've reached out to Target for comment, and will update this story when we hear back.