Home Depot says it will raise pay for U.S. and Canadian workers

Home Depot says it will raise pay for U.S. and Canadian workers

A Home Depot store in Encinitas, California on April 4, 2016.Mike Blake/Reuters

Home deposit HD-N said Tuesday it would invest $1 billion in wage increases for its U.S. and Canadian hourly workers.

The Atlanta-based home improvement chain said every hourly employee will get a raise starting this month. The starting salary will be at least $15 per hour in all markets.

The Home Depot is one of many major retailers that have raised wages to lure workers into a buoyant U.S. job market, where unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969. Walmart announced in January that it would raise wages hourly at an average of $17.50, while Target invested $300 million in hourly wage increases last year.

The wage increases could also help Home Depot launch a budding campaign to unionize its stores, which it opposes. Workers at a Home Depot in Philadelphia called for union elections last September, saying workers were not benefiting from strong Home Depot sales and stores were understaffed. Store workers voted against the union in November.

Home Depot employs 437,000 people in the United States and 34,000 in Canada. The vast majority are hourly employees, the company said. The company operates 2,000 stores in the United States and 182 stores in Canada.

“This investment will help us attract and retain top talent in our pipeline,” Home Depot President and CEO Ted Decker wrote in an email to employees. Decker noted that 90% of chain store managers started out as hourly workers.

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