Home Depot Announces Salary Increases for U.S. and Canada Employees

Home Depot announced on Tuesday that it would invest $1 billion in salary hikes for its hourly U.S. and Canada employees.

Every hourly employee at the Atlanta-based home improvement firm will receive a raise beginning this month. In all markets, starting salary will be at least $15 per hour.

The unemployment rate in the United States is at its lowest level since 1969, and Home Depot is one of many large stores that have increased salaries to attract workers in a robust labor market. Walmart said in January that its average hourly wage would climb to $17.50, while Target invested $300 million in hourly wage hikes in 2017.

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The raises could also help Home Depot thwart an effort to unionize its stores, which the company opposes. In September of last year, Home Depot employees in Philadelphia filed for a union election, claiming they were not benefiting from the company’s robust sales and that stores were understaffed. In November, workers at the store voted against the union.

Home Depot employs 437,000 Americans and 34,000 Canadians. The vast majority are hourly workers, according to the company. The corporation runs 2,000 locations in the United States and 182 in Canada.

Ted Decker, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Home Depot, wrote in an email to staff, “This investment will help us attract and retain the greatest personnel.” Decker said that 90% of the chain’s retail management began their careers as hourly employees.