Minnesota, where Target is based, will increase its minimum wage from $9.50 an hour to $9.65 an hour for large employers on January 1.
In an effort to lure and retain workers, Target is raising its minimum hourly wage to $11 starting in October, and then to $15 by the end of 2020.
Target's new $11 an hour rate is higher than the minimum wage in 48 states and matches the minimum wage in MA and Washington state, the company said in a statement.
The investment will increase pay for Target workers across the US before this year's holiday shopping season heats up and will also apply to seasonal employees. The company is also spending $7 billion to remodel stores and open new locations, including on college campuses.
At that time, Target stayed relatively quiet when it raised its hourly wage.
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Michael Saltsman, Managing Director of the right-leaning Employment Policies Institute, wrote in Forbes Monday that Target's raise is an "example of how wages rise in a free economy - by choice, not by government mandate".
"This is just one more step in being really definitive about the investments we're making in our team and the important role they play store by store in serving our guests. and we think we're moving in a very important direction as we get ready for the holiday season". Target has 16 stores in the Charlotte metro area, and the company says it employs roughly 160 people per store.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Walmart's average salary is $13.69 an hour.
The new wage is higher than the minimum wage in Minnesota, which is $9.50 for large employers, and 47 other states. Democratic leadership introduced a bill in July to take the $15 minimum wage national, but the legislation failed to attract the requisite support to advance.