Apr 20, 2016

    US chain Target raises minimum wage to $13.40 per hour


    AMERICAN discount retailer Target has started increasing employee wages to a minimum of US$10 (S$13.40) an hour, its second hike in a year, pressured by a competitive job market and labour groups calling for higher pay at retail chains, sources said.

    Target management has informed store managers who, in turn, have started telling staff about the wage boost.

    Most employees who earn less than US$10 per hour should see their base pay go up in May.

    The US$1-per-hour raise marks the second time Target has followed Walmart stores in raising base wages.

    It also comes as a union-led push for a US$15 minimum wage, the so-called "Fight for Fifteen" movement, is gaining traction in cities across the country.

    It has even become a topic in the United States presidential campaign, with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders calling for a US$15 "living wage".

    Target's decision reflects growing competition for workers in an increasingly strong labour market.

    The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has fallen and the jobless rate is only 5 per cent.

    Target last raised its minimum pay in April last year to US$9 an hour, up from the federal minimum of US$7.25 per hour at the time.

    The move last April matched a similar announcement by Walmart.

    The world's largest retailer in February last year said it will lift its base pay to US$10 an hour this year, a step it has implemented in recent weeks.