TJX Companies retail chains T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, will raise workers pay to $9 an hour starting in June.
The decision to institute a pay increase comes a week after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would increase wages for U.S. Employees to at least $9 per hour by April, and $10 per hour by Feb. 2016, reports Yahoo Finance.
T.J. Maxx will also raise the hourly wage to $10 in 2016 for employees who have been with the company for at least six months.
“This pay initiative is an important part of our strategies to continue attracting and retaining the best talent in order to deliver a great shopping experience, remain competitive on wages in our U.S. markets, and stay focused on our value mission,” said TJX’s chief executive Carol Meyrowitz.
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The average earnings at T.J. Maxx for a group of sales associates is currently $7.98 per hour, reports Huffington Post.
A trend is surfacing as other companies have also announced wage increases for their employees, namely IKEA and the Gap chain.
A domino effect may now occur in order to compete for the top talent, said John Challenger, CEO of global outplacement first Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
"Other retailers may have no other choice but to follow," Challenger said. "The pool of available labor is starting to shrink and it will take more than a store discount to attract the best of available candidates."
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The recent increases in pay come at a time when retailers and fast-food companies have been under scrutiny and pressure by employees and worker groups to increase their baseline pay.
The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25. A bill was introduced to Congress, backed by President Obama, that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Efforts to pass the bill in Congress have stalled.