Economy

Good News: Target is Raising Its Minimum Wage, Finally

March 18th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Dow Jones reported Wednesday that Target will be raising minimum wage to $9 per hour in April. This comes a month after competitor Wal-Mart announced it would increase its minimum wage to $9 an hour in April and $10 an hour for 2016.

This also comes after advocacy organization UltraViolet put pressure on Target to pay workers better wages, stating that Wal-Mart's better pay should encourage Target to have better pay.

"If Target were to raise its minimum wage, that could mean close to a million people earning poverty wages will see their salaries increase -- and we could see wages rise across industries," UltraViolet wrote. "But that's only if we keep the momentum going. Walmart is Target's biggest competitor -- but for a long time Target has relied on Walmart's poor image to paint it in a more favorable light. Now, Target won't be able to claim it's a better workplace, and the more of us who sign the petition, the greater the pressure on Target to do the right thing."

Just last week, Target announced it would be undergoing some downsizing, which includes 1,700 layoffs and the closing of 1,400 open roles. The layoffs are part of a restructuring effort to save billions in costs over the next couple years.

Federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour, but some states go higher than that. In November, minimum wage increased in four states: Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Portland, Ore., recently agreed to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour for city workers, the highest in the country. Last year, Washington, D.C. raised minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. Voting initiatives last year led to minimum wage increases in 20 states, effective January 1. Though some economists have expressed concern that raising the minimum wage would result in job losses, a 2014 Center for American Progress study found raising the wage does not impact employment.

Fight for $15 is a nationwide movement aiming to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour everywhere. Check out this video to learn more about the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15: