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Walmart just boosted pay to $15. It’s not what you think

FILE - This June 1, 2017, file photo, shows a Walmart sign at a store in Hialeah Gardens, Fla. Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery on its most popular items, raising the stakes in the retail shipping wars. The nation’s largest retailer says Tuesday, May 13, 2019, it's been building its own network of more efficient e-commerce distribution centers to enable the faster delivery. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

    (CNN) — Walmart, America’s largest private employer, will raise pay for 425,000 US workers — more than a fourth of its workforce — to at least $13 an hour.

Starting March 13, hourly workers stocking shelves and fulfilling customers’ home delivery and curbside pickup orders in stores will receive a starting rate of $13 to $19 an hour, based on the store’s location and market, Walmart US CEO John Furner said in note to Walmart workers Thursday. Last year, the company raised wages for 165,000 store workers in management roles to a starting rate of $18 an hour.

Walmart said that the latest pay bumps will bring its average hourly wage to above $15 an hour. But Walmart will maintain its $11 minimum wage.

In recent years, many rival retailers and restaurant chains have moved to a $15 an hour minimum wage. Amazon raised its starting wage to $15 in 2018, while Target and Best Buy bumped up their minimum wages to $15 last year.

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.

President Joe Biden included a $15 federal minimum wage in his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal last month, and it’s part of the package working its way through the House. The legislation, which could be voted on as soon as next week, calls for hiking the hourly wage in stages until it hits $15 in 2025.

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