Home Depot said Tuesday it’s investing $1 billion in wage increases for its U.S. and Canadian hourly employees.
The Atlanta-based home improvement chain said every hourly worker will get a raise starting this month. Starting pay might be a minimum of $15 per hour in all markets.
Home Depot is certainly one of many big retailers who’ve raised pay to draw employees in a robust U.S. job market, where unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969. Walmart announced in January that it will be raising its hourly wage to a median of $17.50, while Goal invested $300 million in hourly wage increases last yr.
The pay raises could also help Home Depot head off a fledgling campaign to unionize its stores, which it opposes. Staff at a Home Depot in Philadelphia filed to carry a union election last September, saying employees weren’t benefiting from Home Depot’s strong sales and stores were understaffed. Staff at the shop voted to reject the union in November.
Home Depot employs 437,000 people within the U.S. and 34,000 in Canada. The overwhelming majority are hourly employees, the corporate said. The corporate operates 2,000 stores within the U.S. and 182 stores in Canada.
“This investment will help us attract and retain the most effective talent into our pipeline,” Home Depot’s Chairman, President and CEO Ted Decker wrote in an email to employees. Decker noted that 90% of the chain’s store leadership began as hourly employees.
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