Walgreens raising minimum hourly pay to $15 beginning in October

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance announced Tuesday that it will begin incrementally raising minimum hourly pay to $15 in October, in a bid to reach full compliance by November 2022.

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Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens’ current starting wage is $10 per hour, but the company said about half of its 190,000 hourly employees currently earn at least $15 an hour, CNBC reported.

Earlier this month, rival pharmacy chain CVS Health announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage from $11 to $15 by July 2022 and eliminated some educational requirements for workers.

>> Related: CVS to raise minimum wage to $15, eliminate educational requirements for some jobs

A nationwide labor shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted retailers to raise wages in a bid to attract and retain top talent amid a shrinking labor pool, Reuters reported.

“Investing in and rewarding our team members is not only the right thing to do, it’s highly important to retaining and attracting a talented workforce,” Walgreens CEO Roz Brewer said in a prepared statement.

The company added roughly 25,000 full- and part-time workers during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reported.

According to Reuters, Walgreens plans to invest about $450 million over the next three years to support the wage increase, investing one-third of the amount in fiscal year 2022.