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Walmart raises wages for pharmacists and opticians

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, said Wednesday it was raising wages for its 7,700 pharmacists and opticians as it expands its healthcare business and seeks to retain workers in a competitive environment.

The retailer said the increase would bring the average annual salary of its more than 3,700 pharmacists to more than $140,000. Walmart declined to share the current salary rate, saying it was based on location and role.

He said opticians could now “expect” to earn a median hourly wage of more than $22.50. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a pharmacist in the United States is $129,410 and the median hourly wage for opticians is $21.58.

The company also said it was starting a program where associates working at its Vision Center could be certified and licensed as a way to move up to higher-paying positions.

“We listen to our associates and take their feedback on how their work environment should improve,” Brian Setzer, Walmart’s executive vice president of health and wellness, said Wednesday at the retailer’s annual shareholder meeting.

This year, Walmart increased the wages of workers in its business as a way to compete for talent. Inflation is affecting not only your buyers, but also your employees. And the job market remains robust, giving workers more choice. In January, Walmart reduced her pharmacy hours while dealing with a tight job market.

That same month, the company said it was increasing its minimum salary for store workers to range from $14 to $19 per hour, from $12 to $18. Their median salary is still not as high as some competitors, like Costco.

last year too salary increase for pharmacy technicians who work for Walmart and Sam’s Club to an average of more than $20 an hour and promised more frequent raises.

For years, Walmart faced pressure from unions, lawmakers and activists to raise the wages of workers at its stores. Due to its scale, Walmart’s recent move to raise wages could signal to the rest of the retail industry that companies still need to provide more incentives for workers to stay competitive in the job market.

Walmart opened its first health center in 2019. By providing health care services, the retailer seeks to further entrench itself in the communities where it operates and gain a greater share of the billions of dollars Americans spend on health care each year.

It currently has 32 health centers in the United States, with plans to have more than 75 by the end of next year.

“Strong growth” in its health and wellness category helped fuel an increase in the company’s comparable sales in its most recent quarter, John David Rainey, Walmart’s chief financial officer, said this month.

At the same time, there is a shortage of pharmacists across the country. After three years on the front lines helping to fight the coronavirus, a significant number of pharmacy workers have burned out and left the industry. In the coming years, the industry is expected to expand more slowly than the national average for other industries, according to a 2021 report. job outlook report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report said that most of the job openings “would result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force.”

This week, Walmart executives, store associates and suppliers gathered in Bentonville, Ark., for the retailer’s annual shareholder meeting.

The company is expected to explain its vision for the coming year, providing updates on its consumer base, technological innovations and store remodels. Your healthcare business will likely be a hot topic for investors and analysts.

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